You have heard the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, when it comes to establishing property damages in a court of law, a picture is the most relied upon the type of evidence used by lawyers. Police officers know the importance of preserving evidence of an automobile collision, but often fail to do a thorough job. Even when they do obtain photographs, they don’t always confirm the quality of the photographs — and sometimes they simply lose them. The best way to preserve such evidence and damages to your (and their vehicle) is for you or someone with you to snap as many photos as are required to get all the damages identified. Don’t overlook debris on the road and skid marks, since that is important evidence as well.
The Importance of Taking Photos after a Collision
Some people may be under the false notion that an insurance adjuster will take care of all this for you later on. The property damage adjuster will “appraise” the least amount of damage as possible, and approve for a certain amount of repairs.
If a dispute arises as to the nature of the damages, which is often the case by the time the vehicle is being fixed at the body shop, then the pictures of the damage will help you get your car fully repaired. Otherwise, the insurance adjuster may tell you the damage was pre-existing — that is, it occurred before the collision. The best way to circumvent that problem is to take good pictures of your vehicle.
What If I am Unable to Take Photos and Images of the Crash?
What about situations where you are injured and cannot take pictures? The best thing to do is to ask a friend or family member to take photos as soon as possible.
How Long Should I Keep Auto Accident Pictures?
Keep the photographs until your personal injury claim is fully resolved.
West Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured in a collision in West Virginia, we are here to help. We answer questions about accident claims every day and would be glad to answer yours.
Just call 304.594.1800 for a free consultation.
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Jeffery Robinette was admitted to practice law in 1991 and is licensed in all levels of state and federal trial courts in West Virginia. Mr. Robinette is also licensed in all state and federal appeals courts in West Virginia and the United States Supreme Court. As a National Board Certified Trial Attorney who has handled hundreds of motor vehicle, injury, and construction defect claims and a leading author on insurance claims settlement issues and difficulties in West Virginia, Jeff Robinette is uniquely qualified to represent your best interest.