What Happens if You Delete Images on Your Cell Phone After a Car Accident?

Deleting cell phone images after a car accident can be detrimental to a personal injury claim or lawsuit. When building a case, it’s important to have as much evidence as possible to prove who was at fault for the crash. Photos or videos of the accident scene can reveal the cause of the crash, detail the damage that was done, and demonstrate the severity of the injuries that were sustained as a direct result of the accident.

However, in some cases, accident victims may accidentally or intentionally delete photos. Without this evidence, an accident case can be much weaker and lead to reduced compensation.

Why Accident Photos Are So Important

Photos and videos captured in the immediate aftermath or later at the scene of an accident can help boost the credibility of a claim. People can use photos for proving negligence in a number of ways.

With accident scene photos, claimants, their accident lawyers, and accident investigators may be able to effectively reconstruct the crash, reinforcing their claims about how it took place. Images can also provide clear proof of injuries and damage to vehicles and other property. Additionally, accident photos may be able to help restore a person’s memory about the circumstances leading up to the crash.

Car accident victims often overlook crucial details of a crash due to the trauma resulting from the impact and injuries sustained. Cell phone images and videos can effectively reveal evidence that might otherwise be lost or forgotten.

Preventing Adjusters from Quickly Closing a Case

Insurance companies aren’t on the victim’s side following an accident. An insurance adjuster’s goal is to close a claim as quickly as possible, minimizing the payout to the victim.

Detailed photos of a ride-share accident or another type of crash can help claimants build stronger cases. Cell phone photos of vehicle angles, skid marks, and accident debris can help injury lawyers show how another party’s actions caused an accident and any damage or injuries sustained. This encourages adjusters to negotiate with injury attorneys for higher settlement amounts.

What to Do if Cell Phone Images Are Deleted

Deleting cell phone images of a crash scene — whether intentionally or accidentally — can severely hinder a car accident claim. Fortunately, even if a person has deleted his or her photos, there’s a chance they’re not gone forever. Depending on the steps taken to delete photos and the device used, there may be ways to recover them.

On Apple devices running on iOS, deleted photos are not deleted as soon as users click on the trash can icon. Users can find them in their Photos app within the last album listed at the bottom, called “Recently Deleted.” In this folder, images may still be present. Users can select the cell phone images and click “Restore.” All images saved to an iCloud account will remain in the cloud unless removed from that account.

Android device users can keep all photos backed up on Google Photos. This typically keeps photos safe and secure. However, if Google Photos isn’t set up, users can download apps like DiskDigger to recover deleted photos from their devices. This method isn’t entirely reliable, but users may be able to retrieve high-resolution photos on rooted devices and low-resolution versions on non-rooted devices.