Car accidents are frightening and upsetting. It is not always easy to think clearly after a collision, especially if it is severe or you sustained injuries. Taking photos of the accident may be the furthest thing from your mind.
But taking pictures after an accident is one of the best ways to protect yourself after a collision. Taking photos gives law enforcement, insurance companies and legal teams a better understanding of the incident.
Your picture is proof
If your accident is relatively minor, taking photographs is a critical way to protect yourself. Take photos of any damage to your car, the other driver’s vehicle and any injuries you sustained. These images provide concrete evidence of the scene just after the accident.
Your safety and the safety of those near the accident should always be your number one priority, though. Make sure the area around the accident is secure first.
Photographing accidents as a witness
If you witnessed an accident, your photographs may be vital to the outcome of a victim’s insurance or personal injury claim. You are within your rights to photograph an incident that occurred in a public space. As long as you are not obstructing the police investigation, you are not violating any laws.
However, you must be mindful when taking photos of people in a public space. The Digital Media Law Project details Massachusetts’ Right of Publicity Laws. You cannot use the photo to gain commercial value or exploit victims. However, if you take photos to aid police or help with investigations, these laws do not apply.