Car accidentsCar Accident Scene Photos: The Importance of Documentation

June 21, 2021

Car Accident Scene Photos: The Importance of Documentation

Car accident scene photos are an essential aspect of your claim. From identification of other parties to the documentation of the scene, photos often prove crucial in personal injury claims. 

Getting into an auto accident can happen in a split second. However, the repercussions of a collision can stretch on for months and years – or even for a lifetime. What you do in the immediate aftermath of an accident impacts your ability to pursue compensation. 

Because you might need to file a claim for any injuries you’ve sustained or prove that you weren’t at fault, documenting the scene of your accident by taking pictures is critical.

How do Car Accident Scene Photos Help in a Car Accident Claim?

When auto accidents happen, the stress of the situation makes it hard for the people involved to have a clear recollection of what occurred. Moreover, if you need to recount the accident in court, there’s quite a bit riding on how well you remember specific details of the incident. 

If the court finds you credible, it goes a long way toward helping your cause.

Additionally, nobody can argue against photographic evidence. So, if you’re able to take car accident scene photos at the scene of an accident, the court and jury have more than your memory to go on. Moreover, photographs help us accomplish several things relevant to your case in court.


The first thing that photos help to establish is who is to blame for an accident. Car accident lawyers have a much easier time reconstructing motor vehicle collisions when they have hard evidence to work with. 

Taking the right car accident scene photos at the scene establishes the other driver’s liability. Further, that affects your ability to get restitution for the damage to your vehicle and any injuries you’ve sustained.

Preserving Evidence

At the scene of most auto accidents, it doesn’t take long for critical evidence to disappear. Responding police and emergency services are more concerned with tending to injuries and clearing the road than they are with preserving evidence. Moreover, once the vehicles involved in the accident get moved, it becomes much harder to prove exactly how the accident happened.

Still, if you’re able to provide your car accident lawyers with comprehensive car accident scene photos of an undisturbed scene, they can construct a case that’s more likely to succeed. Additionally, if you’re careful to take photos of any injuries you sustained in the accident, your car accident lawyers can prove that they’re the result of the accident. 

When we do, that affects our ability to negotiate a fair settlement of your claim by making it harder for the other party to argue the merits of your case.

The Important Details

Motor vehicle accidents don’t happen in a vacuum. That makes the specific details surrounding auto accidents critical when they’re examined in court. However, most people can’t remember those details well enough to recount them to car accident lawyers after the fact. Oftentimes, it’s also hard to tell which details might prove critical later on.

So, photos of the other vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number are important to have. Moreover, so are pictures of the other driver’s license, registration, and insurance information. Those are just the most obvious things to record.

It’s also important to photograph several other details at the scene of a car accident, including:

As many detailed photos of your injuries as possible

  • Videos or photos of any traffic signs and signals in the area surrounding the accident
  • Photos of witnesses, responding police officers, and the other driver
  • Detailed photos of the damage to your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle
  • Photos of the surrounding scene as well as of any homes or businesses nearby

Having photos of the things listed above create a complete account of your accident scene. However, they also make it easier to track down useful witnesses, look for security cameras that may have captured the accident in real-time, and confirm or refute accident details as recorded by the police or the other driver.

Angles and Distances

When it comes to documenting motor vehicle collisions, there’s no such thing as too many photos. For that reason, you should try to take as many car accident scene photos as possible. Moreover, you should take multiple photos of each subject from at least three different angles and distances. Oftentimes, auto accidents involve more factors than meets the eye, so context is key.

When you take car accident scene photos at close range, try to stay between one and five feet from the subject. And for medium-distance pictures, aim to be between ten and fifteen feet away for best results. For long-distance shots – when there’s enough room to take them safely – you should be from twenty or more feet from the accident scene.

It’s also a good idea to try and keep a common object visible in as many of your photos as possible. Doing this provides a visual reference that makes it easier for your car accident lawyers to judge distances and figure out where parts of the scene are relative to one another.

Any Camera Will Work For Car Accident Scene Photos

Although it’s best to have a high-quality camera on hand if you need to document the scene of an accident, that’s not always possible. Typically, auto accidents aren’t something you plan for. As such, any camera you have is useful when you need to take photos of an accident.

The average cell phone camera takes pictures that are more than adequate for the task. You might also wish to keep a disposable camera in your vehicle just in case it’s needed. Additionally, if the camera you have can include a time stamp on the photos it takes, it’s a good idea to turn it on and make sure it’s set to the correct time and date.

Car Accident Attorneys Who Fight for Injured Texans

Motor vehicle collisions are life-changing events. They can leave you facing property losses and injuries both mental and physical. And here at AP Law Group, we dedicate ourselves to helping you to get the compensation you deserve for those injuries. 

Our car accident lawyers know that it’s hard to move forward from an accident without someone fighting by your side, and we’ll be there when you need us.

So if you’re involved in an auto accident, remember to take as many car accident scene photos at the scene as you can. It will help us to help you – and we’ll work hard to win your claim and help you get back to your life as soon as possible, so don’t hesitate to call on us!


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