Photography Evidence Collection Suggestions

Best time to inspect:

Perform the scene inspection during daylight hours in order to identify and document ALL physical evidence found at the scene. The photographs should include any tire marks, scrapes and gouges located at the crash scene. If the crash occurred during nighttime hours, a nighttime visit should be considered which could provide additional information regarding traffic conditions, lighting in the crash area and other unforeseen circumstances that a daytime visit may not reveal.

Police Paint Marks:

Take photographs of any and all police paint marks and tire marks present at the scene regardless to whether they are believed to be part of the crash. These markings if not carefully documented, may be misinterpreted later by others and incorporated into the crash investigation. Proper documentation of these marks can greatly increase the chances of properly interpreting this physical evidence and ensuring others do not utilize these marks to complicate your investigation.

General Photography Tips

  • When taking photographs, attempt to keep the camera in the same horizontal direction if possible.
  • Measure your eye level while standing, in order to have the photographs taken from a known height consistently.
  • When taking documentary photographs to depict a driver’s view of approaching traffic or line of sight, unless specific measurements are known, lowering the camera angle creates a worst case scenario in most cases.
  • Always use a set-up shot for any close-up photographs to allow the viewer to identify the close-up relative to the scene or vehicle.
  • Document the rear of signs which often reveal when the signs were erected.
  • Take photographs in a methodical manner from all angles.
  • Document skid marks from both directions. Often skids may not be visible from one direction and appear very pronounced when viewed from the other direction.
  • Either start or end the inspection by documenting the approach of involved parties.
  • Document any and all temporary vision obstructions such as vegetation foliage, movable signs etc. These objects have a tendency of relocating once litigation is deemed to be pending.
  • Do not focus solely on the impact point, back away from the impact location to include strategically documenting the approach of vehicles and any interesting roadway features.
  • Make sure others know that photographs are being taken and try not to include anyone in a photograph unnecessarily.
  • Include photographs of the area of final rest from different views.
  • When documenting the impact area, make sure to include some reference or landmarks in the photographs if possible and scales (Measuring tape etc.)