What to photograph at the scene of a motor vehicle accident

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Car accident scenes tend to feel confusing and chaotic.

Focusing on gathering photographic evidence can keep you calm and give you a purpose during this stressful time.

Overall scene

Begin by taking shots of the accident scene. Capture images from various angles to show how the vehicles, road conditions and any relevant signage or landmarks. Photograph skid marks on the road and debris scattered around the accident scene. These details can provide insights into the speed and direction of the vehicles involved, aiding in accident reconstruction.

Capture nearby traffic signals, stop signs or any other relevant signage. These images can help determine obedience to traffic laws and who had the right of way. Take photographs depicting the weather and lighting conditions at the time of the accident. Include shots of the sky, visibility levels and any environmental factors that may have contributed to the incident.


Get photos of the damage sustained by each vehicle involved. Take close-up shots of dents, scratches and other visible impairments. Capture all sides of the vehicles involved. Then, photograph the license plates of all vehicles involved.


In 2022, motor vehicle crashes killed 42,795 people, according to the NHTSA, and many thousands more received injuries during these incidents. After an accident, document any visible injuries sustained by drivers, passengers or pedestrians.

Witnesses and emergency personnel

If possible, capture images of witnesses, emergency responders and law enforcement officers at the scene. These photos can help establish the presence of witnesses and the timely response of emergency services.

Your photographs can give investigators an overall understanding of the accident and its outcomes. This evidence can also help you with your insurance claims and legal challenges.