Suing for a car accident is a complex process. There are many ways to prove your case and get the compensation you need, and photographs of the accident can be a very helpful way to show a jury or insurance company the information they need to rule in your favor. However, photos of the accident are not a necessary requirement to have your case heard and get you the compensation you need. For further information on your potential car accident claim, contact our New York City car accident lawyers at Sullivan and Galleshaw today.
Do You Need Pictures of a Car Accident to File a Lawsuit in New York?
Photos of the car accident scene are one of the most helpful pieces of evidence you can have. However, you can win a car accident case without them. In many cases, today, victims and at-fault drivers are able to take pictures because their phones usually have cameras. However, if your phone is dead, has no free storage space for pictures, or broke during the crash, you may be out of luck. Some days it may also just be too dark to take good pictures. If you were in a crash, it is important to understand how pictures of the crash are used in a car accident lawsuit and how you may be able to win your case without them.
When you take your case to court, it is your burden, as the victim, to prove that the at-fault driver caused the crash and caused the injuries you faced. This means convincing a jury – not the judge, as many people believe – that the other driver was at-fault. Juries are made up of everyday people, and showing them that something happened is often a stronger way to get them to believe you than simply telling them about it.
Many studies have shown that someone remembers something better and understands it better if they have a visual of what is being said as well as the verbal description. However, photographs of the scene are not the only way to give them the visual information they need. For instance, visual evidence can come from a map of the location where the crash took place, potentially with visual representations of the cars and their relative locations. Showing the jury the injuries you faced by letting them see you in a cast or a wheelchair can also be powerful evidence.
Alternatives to Photographic Evidence in a Car Crash Case
Photos of a car crash often show the damage, but they are not a perfect representation of the crash. Without video of the crash as it was happening, any pictures you take will be somewhat different than what you would have seen at the time of the accident. If you or the other driver pulls their car to the side of the road, any photos taken do not perfectly represent the scene as the accident took place and are automatically a bit inaccurate.
Photos of the damage and injury are helpful, but the extent of the harm can be shown more accurately with auto repair statements and medical bills. Your testimony can also supply much of the same evidence. A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but when you present a photograph in court as evidence, you still need to explain what it is a picture of, how that photo fits into the scene as a whole, and how severe the damage or injury was – which are all things the picture may not be able to supply.
Because of this, photographs are merely helpful in proving a car crash case – but they are by no means required.
What Information Do You Need to Prove a Car Accident Case?
If you plan on seeking payments for your injuries and vehicle damage, pictures may not be an absolute requirement – but other information is. At the scene of the accident, there is various information you must collect if you want to be able to file a lawsuit for your injuries and car damage.
First, you need to know whom to sue. This means getting the name and contact info of the driver that hit you. Things may be hectic at the time of the crash, but it is important to always find a pen and paper or use your cell phone to take down the information.
Second, you must be able to testify about the cars or trucks involved. If you claim the driver was the one who hit you, but you claim it was a completely different vehicle, your case might start falling apart. Get the make, model, color, and license plate number of the cars involved to make sure you identify the correct cars.
You should also take notes of where the accident happened (including cross streets or mile markers), what time of day, what the weather was like, whether the roads were wet, and other info about the scene. Getting the contact info for any witnesses can also help you back up your case.
Lastly, you should write down what you remember about the crash as soon as possible. Record how the accident happened so you can reference these notes or use them as evidence later.
Call Our New York City Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash in New York City, call the New York City personal injury lawyers at Sullivan and Galleshaw today. Our attorneys offer free consultations on car accident claims. To schedule your free legal consultation, call us today at (718) 843-0300.