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Importance of Taking Photos After a Maryland Car Accident

Given the amount of time the average American spends in their car on a daily basis, it is likely inevitable that you will be involved in an accident at some point in your life. Car accidents can result in severe injuries and physical damage. If you do find yourself the victim of a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, the most important thing you should do first is make sure everyone present is ok. Contact emergency medical services if needed and the police.

If you are mobile and able, start taking photos of the scene while waiting for the police to show up. In most cases, this can be a huge help when presenting a claim to the insurance company or for litigation. However, do not attempt to take photos if you are in pain or the scene is not safe. In other words, do not put yourself or others in danger to get photos. Any photos you are able to take should be brought to your initial consultation with a Charles County auto accident attorney as well.

What Makes Scene Photos So Important?

Next to eyewitness accounts and the police report, scene photos are one of the only types of reliable evidence that you can collect at the scene of an accident. At the scene of an accident, you may not be sure you are pursuing a claim yet or that it will go to litigation. This is why it is important to collect all evidence anyway. In the event you decide to make a claim later on, you will have the necessary evidence.

You cannot go back and suddenly recreate the accident scene and get the exact same photos. You can take photos of what the scene looks like now, but it will not be the same. Perhaps landscaping has changed, the missing stop sign has been replaced, etc.

The other reason you want to obtain scene photos is if the other party claims the accident was your fault and decides to pursue a claim against you or file a lawsuit. Given that Maryland is a contributory negligence state, it is imperative to have all of the evidence you possibly can. With contributory negligence, if you are even one percent at fault, you are barred from recovery.

Tips for Shooting Great Scene Photos

If you can snap photos before the police arrive, this is your best option. You want to snap photos of the cars in their exact positions and ensure they document the specific conditions. This includes weather, landscape that might be blocking a stop sign or other important signage. You want to get photos of skid marks, any potholes or other hazards, etc. We want to mention again though, do not attempt scene photos if you are injured or it is too dangerous. Safety is paramount. You do not want to cause another accident.

Here is a checklist of things to ensure you photograph:

  • Scene overview
  • Traffic lights and signs, as well as their positions
  • Physical damage to vehicles
  • Any other property damage
  • Weather
  • People's injuries (with permission only)
  • Documentation (vehicle registrations, driver’s licenses, etc.)

Contact a Maryland Auto Accident Attorney

If you were involved in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro today at 301-870-1200 to schedule an initial consultation.