Determining fault in a motor vehicle collision used to be much more difficult. Today, almost everyone has a smartphone handy ready to take pictures. Good photo and video evidence may not tell the whole story, but it can certainly make an investigator’s job easier.
Here are some tips for gathering the shots that provide solid proof.
Take pictures from different locations
There should be at least one picture of every vehicle involved in the crash, whether they have damage or not. This should include an image that shows the vehicle’s location after the crash, as well as close-ups of specific damage to each vehicle.
Take pictures of the scene
Perhaps none of the drivers in the crash were at fault. It could have been a missing or hidden traffic sign, a large pothole or an object in the road. The weather could have been the major contributing factor. Photo evidence of the conditions and surrounding scene could reveal an issue that no one noticed at the time.
Take pictures of documents
Often, adrenaline and the shock of the collision cause agitation. That may make it hard to read and write down the information each driver should gather from the others. Taking pictures as well as notes of essential documents may provide more legible results and answer questions such as, “Is that a B or an 8?”
Gather video evidence
Some people have a dashcam, but these devices are not always conventional. Even if none of the vehicles involved in the collision have onboard cameras, someone nearby may have caught the accident, or at least the immediate aftermath, on video. A passing vehicle’s dashcam may have recorded the incident. Drivers should ask all witnesses if any footage exists.
In addition to traffic cameras, neighborhoods and businesses often have security cameras rolling at all times. Checking with all of these sources may result in multiple videos from a variety of angles. When it comes to visual evidence, more is always better.