When You Can Expect the Police to Photograph Your Accident

by Karla G.

Why don’t the police take photographs of accident scenes? If the officer who investigated my accident has taken pictures, the woman I hit would have had her injury claim denied. She was walking all over the place at the scene. Marion, Huntsville

The police do take photographs of accident scenes, but not every single one that they investigate or respond to. Could you imagine how many more police officers would need to be hired with tax-payer money if they spent all of their time taking pictures of fender-benders instead of fighting real crime? It is simply economically unrealistic.

Police usually take photographs of accident scenes:

• When there is a death or very serious injury involved. They do not generally take photographs of minor impacts.

• When criminal charges may arise from the accident. This might include a DUI or DWI charge, especially if injuries were involved. A potential vehicular manslaughter case would warrant photographs, or an accident that occurs as part of a crime (stolen vehicle, bank robbery get-away).

• When scene reconstruction is needed in order to determine who was at fault for a major accident.

• When another police officer is actually involved in the accident and liability is unclear (for example, a clear liability case would be one where one of the vehicles was stopped at a red light when struck in the rear by the other).

Your accident and the personal injury claim made against you are good reasons why you should be prepared to take photographs to protect yourself. See our page about what you should do when in an accident.

This article is written for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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