Accident scene photos are one of many tools that professional detectives can use to analyze data about incidents they may be assigned to investigate. Accident investigations are very common cases for detectives to manage, especially for private eyes in the insurance investigation and civil trial preparation sectors of the industry.
Although professional investigators rarely get to the scene in time to photograph the actual occurrence, they can still gain valuable insight form documenting the exact scene and surrounding area, even after the accident has already been cleaned up. However, most investigators will still try to get hold of official law enforcement photos for accident scenes, when available, even if this means subpoenaing them through their client’s attorney.
This narrative examines how detectives can take or acquire accident images that may be used for legal proceedings or liability assessment.
What are Accident Scene Photos
Accident is a term which encompasses many possible types of case profiles. For investigators, the following are some of the many types of accidental occurrences which may be documented in pictures or video: slip and fall accidents, personal injury accidents, maritime accidents, work accidents, industrial accidents, construction accidents, and of course, car accidents.
Investigators will travel to the location of the occurrence and photograph the scene from all available angles. This will allow detailed glimpses of any contributing factors to the incident and will preserve any evidence left behind, such as property damage, vehicular skid marks or weather patterns.
Value of Accident Scene Photos
Using accident photos as evidential tools to work on a case is one of the primary repetitive tasks any investigator will undertake throughout their professional career. Investigators will use photos as reference points and will pass along these pieces of evidence to subsequent professionals who may work on the case, such as attorneys, forensic experts or law enforcement officers.
Investigators can also subpoena photos from official government agencies, insurance companies and anyone else who may have viable images on film, or video, relating to the accident. The more evidence which can be retrieved, the better the chances of finding some piece of crucial information which may explain the reason for the accident to have occurred or evidence which can clearly assess blame to one or more parties.
Final Words on Accident Scene Photos
As a trial preparation investigator in New York City, I had the task of documenting many accident scenes of all varieties. However, being that I was not a preliminary investigator, I would often see these sites weeks, months or even years after the incident occurred. Regardless, the passage of time seldom changed many of the key elements which relate to the causative conditions of why the accident originally occurred. This was proven time and time again when comparing my photos to the ones taken on the scene when the incident first occurred.
A good investigator will always seek to document all evidence on film or video, so that they have a verifiable record of all they see, for reference points as the case progresses.
Professional Tip: Make sure the equipment used to photo or video document any location is up for the job, being that the higher resolution available, the better the chances for discovering subtleties which may escape the naked eye at first glance.