Should I Take Photos at the Scene of a Truck Accident?
Truck accident evidence can take many different forms. From eyewitness testimony to data from the truck’s black box, there are a number of ways to get the facts surrounding the crash and determine who is at fault.
Photographs are among the most crucial pieces of truck accident evidence. Unlike what is involved in obtaining other types of evidence in trucking accident claims, victims can often take pictures themselves. These photos can then be shared with a lawyer who can help you build your case.
Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (201) 585-9111 if you have been involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler. Our truck accident lawyers know what evidence to gather and how to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
Tips for Taking Photos After a Truck Accident
Just about everyone these days has a smartphone. This is great, because it means most people can start collecting the evidence they need for their accident case immediately after the collision.
The goal of taking photos after an accident is to document the circumstances of the crash. In the event of a truck accident, the following tips may help:
Stand a Good Distance from the Scene
You need to photograph the scene as a whole from multiple angles. The pictures should capture the position of the vehicles and the surrounding area. Commercial trucks are much larger than passenger vehicles, so it will likely be necessary to take a few steps back to fit everything into the frame.
Beware of Oncoming Traffic
Motor vehicle accidents always carry the risk of secondary collisions. Other drivers may be trying to navigate around the crash, or they could be rubbernecking and fail to see people and objects in the road.
Although it is important to photograph the truck accident, you don’t want to risk your safety just to get the shot. Be aware of your surroundings and watch for vehicles in the vicinity.
Don’t Forget the Details
Your overall goal when taking photographs for the purpose of truck accident evidence is to get “the big picture.” However, if you see some smaller detail that you believe might be relevant (such as skid marks on the road, damage to the big rig, etc.), don’t hesitate to take a picture. A trucking accident attorney can examine your photos and consult experts to flesh out the truck accident evidence in your case.
What Should I Photograph After a Truck Accident?
The aftermath of a truck accident is overwhelming. It is important to take a breath and collect your thoughts so you can think clearly and go about taking pictures of the scene systematically and safely.
Some of the most important things to photograph after a truck accident include:
1. The Vehicles Involved
Wide shots of your vehicle, the semi-truck, and any other vehicles involved help to show where all of the vehicles are immediately following the accident. Sometimes this can support claims of fault (such as if the front of the truck is smashed into the back of your car).
You should also take pictures of damage to any and all vehicles. The location of damage can serve as further proof of negligence on the part of the truck driver or another party involved.
2. Damage to the Roadway
Analysis of skid marks can aid in the calculation of the speeds involved in a truck accident. You should also take pictures of any damage to road signs, guardrails, and other objects. These provide additional reference points for the forces exerted by the vehicles, as well as potential errors that led to the crash.
If you find debris and parts of the vehicles in the roadway after a crash, photograph them as well. These include:
- Broken glass
- Parts of bumpers and fenders
- Fluids from the truck and any other vehicles
- Headlight and taillight covers
3. Your Injuries
Whether you were the driver or a passenger in a vehicle involved in a truck accident, you need to document your injuries. Pictures you take at the scene can help support your medical records, with the added benefit of documenting these injuries before you have received treatment.
Cuts and broken bones can and should be photographed immediately. You should also take pictures of any rips in your clothing (these might show signs of a bruise or other injury over the following days).
4. Information from the Other Driver (or Drivers)
Exchanging information after an accident is crucial for protecting your right to sue after an accident. In addition to the truck driver’s personal information (including contact information, vehicle information, and insurance coverage), you need to get the name, contact information, and insurance information for the operator’s employer and/or the owner of the semi-truck.
All of this information can be written down. However, to save time, it may be worth taking a picture of the documents instead.
5. Traffic and Weather Conditions
Conditions at the scene can play a major role in the cause of the accident as well as establishing liability. Taking pictures of traffic in the vicinity (as well as any traffic signals and signs, lane markings, etc.) can show what was happening at the time of the crash.
It is also important to show what weather and lighting was like when the accident occurred. Make sure your photos accurately show the time of day, the presence of adverse weather conditions, and the state of the road.
Our Lawyers Gather Truck Accident Evidence on Your Behalf
The law firm of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi is well-respected in the field of truck accident litigation. Our top-rated truck accident attorneys have an in-depth understanding of these complex claims, as well as what it takes to win.
When you hire our firm, we get to work immediately. This includes investigating every aspect of the trucking accident and collecting any and all necessary evidence. Although some clients are able to share photos they took at the accident scene, others were too seriously injured to take this step. No matter the circumstances, we hunt down all available truck accident evidence and fight for the full compensation you deserve.
Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today for a FREE consultation. We handle truck accident claims throughout New Jersey from our office in Fort Lee.