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5 ways to take useful car accident photos

You may not realize this, but you probably have an important accident investigation tool right in your pocket: your camera phone.

These days, almost everyone has a cellphone with a camera, and that's changing the game when it comes to car accident claims. Camera phones can help provide photographic evidence that clearly shows who is in the wrong and lends weight to a victim's claim of injuries -- which can ultimately make it easier for victims to get the compensation they deserve without much hassle.

Use these tips to make your photos a success:

1. Take close-ups of the damage done to both vehicles. This can help investigators tell the point of impact by the way damage matches up on each vehicle.

2. Get shots of the entire accident scene at a distance. Long-distance shots can also help with accident reconstruction and can go a long way to proving who was at fault for the accident. If it's safe, try to get photos from both sides, the back and the front.

3. Take pictures of the road. Concentrate on road signs, traffic lights, the layout of the lanes and any signs of the accident. For example, look for skid marks that show where a driver slammed on his or her brakes and take additional photos of glass or other debris where it lies. Keep an eye out for any objects that were damaged during the wreck, like traffic barrels or guard rails.

4. Get a couple pictures of the sky and ground. This will help establish what the weather was like during the accident, which can lend support to a driver's statement that he or she was blinded by the sun or unable to stop because of ice on the road.

5. Get pictures of your injuries. Ideally, you want to get several photos of your injuries over the next few days following the accident, since bruises often don't fully develop until swelling goes down.

You may not be in any shape after the accident to take the photos yourself -- if that's the case, hand your phone to someone else and ask them to take the photos for you. Put a lock on them so that they don't get deleted and forward them to your attorney as soon as possible.

An attorney can provide more information on your rights following a motor vehicle accident.

Source: FindLaw, "Tips for Car Accident Scene Photography," accessed July 28, 2017

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