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What to photograph after a car accident

In the aftermath of a car accident, documenting the scene through photographs is important for insurance claims and investigations.

If you get into an accident, you should understand what to document to strengthen your case.

Overall scene

Begin by capturing wide-angle shots of the entire accident scene. Include the position of vehicles, traffic signals and any relevant road signs. These photos provide context and help establish the location and conditions of the incident.

Vehicle damage

Zoom in on the damage sustained by each vehicle involved. Take multiple shots from different angles to depict the extent of the damage. Focus on specific areas, such as dented fenders, broken lights or deployed airbags. Do not forget to photograph license plates. These images can help assign responsibility.

Road conditions

Photograph the road surface and surrounding conditions. Include any skid marks, debris or road hazards that may have contributed to the accident. These images can help reconstruct the sequence of events and the factors that led to the collision.

Traffic signs and signals

Document the state of traffic signs and signals at the scene. If they played a role in the accident, capturing their condition is important. Include shots of traffic lights, stop signs and any other relevant signage.


The NHTSA found that 42,915 people involved in motor vehicle crashes died in 2021. However, if you see visible injuries after your accident, document them carefully. This includes injuries to yourself, passengers or others involved in the accident.

The more detailed and comprehensive your visual documentation, the better equipped you will be to handle insurance claims and legal processes that may follow a car accident. These photographs serve as a visual testimony, offering a clear and objective record of the incident.