Lots of motorists understand the importance of taking photos at the scene of their car accident. In the event that you decide to hire an attorney with the goal of eventual legal action, these photos may be pivotal to the strength of your case. While photos of the cars and the overall scene are valuable, don't overlook the importance of taking photos of your witnesses. Like photos, witnesses can strengthen a case. In this scenario, they'll show that a witness was indeed there. Here are some dos and don'ts for taking these photos.
Do: Position Them Correctly
It's a good idea to position your witness before you take a photo of him or her. A generic shot of a person doesn't convincingly say that the person was a witness to your car accident, so make sure that the person's back is to the accident. While your first priority is to get a clear image of the witness, being able to see your damaged car in the background—thus proving that the person was indeed on the scene—is valuable.
Don't: Take a Photo Without Asking Permission
People can often be unsure about having their pictures taken, so even if someone stuck around the scene and offered to provide information to the responding police officer, jamming your cellphone camera in the person's face is bad etiquette. It's a good idea to ask any witness beforehand if you can take his or her photo. Should the person decline, be respectful of the decision, but be sure to get the person's name and contact information so that your attorney can follow up with him or her.
Do: Take Your Photos Promptly
You shouldn't wait around with the intention of snapping your witness photos later. Witnesses may quickly give their information to the responding police officer and leave. They may also get fed up with waiting and simply walk away without talking to a police officer. If you make a point of capturing the photos as soon as you can after the accident, you'll be helping your situation.
Don't: Let Lack of Clarity Be an Issue
A photo of a witness to your accident can help your case. If the person were to change his or her statement for whatever reason—perhaps saying that he or she didn't see the accident—your photo can prove that this person was on the scene. In order for the photo to be effective, it has to be clear. Many car accidents happen in inclement weather and low light. Always check your photo after you take it to ensure that the person is easy to identify.
For more tips on taking photographs of witnesses to your accident, contact an attorney like Borbi Clancy Patrizi, LLC.