The photographs you take at an accident scene can effectively combat costly insurance fraud and preserve your company’s hard-earned reputation. More so, you can help reduce or eliminate the cost of your claims, which may ultimately reduce your insurance costs.
To help capture the best photographic evidence possible, follow these tips:
Photograph all vehicles involved from all angles (4 corners and 4 sides straight on) to establish vehicle positions, the boundaries of the crash scene and the impact zone. Document the vehicles’ identifying features (i.e., license plates, VIN numbers, distinct markings). Take close-up photos of the damaged areas of all vehicles.
Use the camera’s zoom feature, if equipped, to capture as much detail as possible.
Use the camera’s flash, if needed.
Do not photograph anyone that is injured.
Photograph the street layout, road condition, landmarks, signs and traffic control devices, any obstructions, as well as marks or gouges in the pavement/dirt, or debris resulting from the accident.
If time allows, use the camera’s video feature, if equipped, to record vehicle placement, damage and other aspects of the accident scene. Do not make any comments while shooting the video.
Use the voice recorder and video to gather information to help identify any witnesses and to obtain their description of what happened. For example, you can video or voice record any witnesses’ account of the accident and ask them to provide their name and contact information.
Make sure your device is fully charged and the lens is unobstructed and clean. Be sure you have sufficient memory or storage space on your device. If you don’t, delete other unimportant data to make room for the accident photos.
Note the date, time, place, name of the photographer, and the type of device used as the accident scene photos and videos may need to be authenticated. Do not delete any of the photos or videos until your insurance company has confirmed that they have been received, opened and saved. In some cases, you may be asked to not delete the photos and videos until they’ve been further reviewed.
Don’t post any photos or videos to social media, or share them with the news media or any other party not authorized by your company or your insurer.