Preserving evidence right after a car accident includes taking photos of all the damage to an injured claimant’s vehicle. The injured claimant is there at the time of the actual accident, so his or her photos may be better than relying on the insurance company to take photos, or even the attorney, because this ensures that there is no question that all of the damages and injuries were caused by the accident rather than some other incident or person. The insurance company will know that all of the damage was directly caused by the at-fault driver and the accident.
Most people are familiar with general terms like anecdotal evidence or empirical evidence, but the successful use of evidence is entirely dependent on the knowledge and skills of an experienced personal injury attorney. The best car accident attorney knows the value of each piece of evidence and whether it will be admissible in court. Contact experienced personal injury lawyers near you today to ensure they can help protect the evidence and records for your lawsuit.
Evidence can make or break your case.
Why is evidence so important? For one thing, it helps build a timeline to show what exactly the insurance companies have been doing. If the insurance company has been trying to hide, or hold back photos from the injured claimant to try to weaken his or her case, or even acting in bad faith, it can be countered with the claimant’s own evidence.
It also helps eliminate unnecessary arguments. Rather than going back and forth about what two different sides see or think, objective evidence can help an injured claimant save time, focus on getting healthy and back to their normal lives. It is harder to argue with official reports, photos and video.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Now that most people have cell phones with cameras, insurance companies realize they cannot manipulate photo evidence the way they used to in the past. Instead, insurance companies have apps or websites that allow users to upload relevant car accident photos directly to their claim online. Still, some insurance companies practice taking strategic photos. For example, some tell their employees to take photos that diminish how severe an accident appears to be.
Manipulating shadows in a photograph can help an insurance company support their defense that the property damage and bodily injuries are not as bad as the injured claimant is making them seem. If the photos are taken with a digital camera, they can easily be deleted and replaced. Simply taking photos of less damaged areas can also paint a picture that is not the whole story and truly accurate. The insurance provider can then hire an expert to support their claim that the injured claimant was not hurt as badly as they say, because the damage to the vehicle was minor. If no photos show damages, it can become a battle of their word against the injured claimants.
For this reason, anyone involved in a car accident should try to take photos of the scene of the accident, the vehicles from all angles – especially the damages – when it is safe to do so. In rear-end car accidents, you should also take photos of damage to the car’s undercarriage. Not all damage is immediately seen or on the surface of the vehicle. This can help convince the insurance provider that the damage was a direct result of the accident. Some insurance companies can convince juries that low-impact car accidents are tied to minor bodily injuries. Then, you end up spending time and money on a claim that is weighed against you.
You should seek medical attention after a car accident if you suspect you were injured. The safety and health of each person is a priority. Doctors and medical staff also document and may take photos of injuries to show that severity and location of each injury after a car accident. This can be powerful evidence in an injured claimant’s favor, just like diagrams can help a judge and jury make important decisions about the vehicles’ positions. Photos of bodily injuries can also support a claim for damages that are long-term like scars or injuries on the face, hands and other visible parts of the body.
Visuals help claims stand out in the minds of the insurance adjusters and help persuade them when settlement is right path forward.
Car accident photos will stand in contrast to those taken before the accident, just as family photos, graduation pictures, military service photos and others show how the accident changed the injured claimant’s life.
Penalty of Perjury
If an insurance company offers photo evidence not under the penalty of perjury during the discovery process, but only as “informal discovery,” it could be that the photos were after the car accident. Discovery is a phase before trial where documents, information and other evidence is shown to the other party and judge to help prove-up the case. As a part of discovery, both parties often request all photos, recordings, insurance paperwork, police reports, medical reports, the names of witnesses and more. Compliance with the various procedures and laws that regulate the discovery pre-trial phase is required in every state and in federal courts. Outside of discovery, documents offered may not be accurate or paint the whole picture of what happened. Without discovery and analysis of this evidence, it is impossible to determine whether the damages and injuries sustained in a car accident were truly excluded from the insurance policy.
In some situations, the insurance provider will claim that they do not have any photos of their insured client’s vehicle, but this is very unlikely. Similarly, an injured claimant is right to be suspicious if the insurance company claims that there was no damage to the insured person’s vehicle, but also have no photos to support their claims.
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer
Navigating complex personal injury cases and handling insurance companies can make the recovery process even more difficult. Experienced attorneys strategically weigh the cost and benefits of each case to minimize the time and expense involved while maximizing their clients’ compensation.
Are you trying to secure your financial recovery with the help of experienced attorneys? If so, we can help.
The Pusch & Nguyen Law Firm has helped countless Texans handle their insurance disputes. Our experienced trial lawyers have gone up against some of the biggest names in the insurance industry while successfully bringing home payouts for clients. Our successful reputation speaks for itself, and with offices in both Houston and San Antonio, we are well equipped to assist Texans who are in dire need of our services. Register online for a free case evaluation or call us today at 713-528-8108 (Houston) or 210-702-3000 to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.