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How Would a Crime Scene Photographer Document the Scene of a Traffic Accident?

written by: Karsun•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 4/6/2011

If you have even wondered how would a crime scene photographer document the scene of a traffic accident, this article will answer all of that and more. Not only will you learn what a forensics photographer does but also how they aid in an investigation and what they must document at the scene.

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    A Forensics Photographer

    800px-September 26, 2007 accident, highway 9, CT 

    If you are interested in the field of Criminology, you may be wondering, "How would a crime scene photographer document the scene of a traffic accident?" This type of work is just one of the many aspects that a crime scene photographer may cover during a career in Criminology. A crime scene photographer not only documents the crime scene itself but performs a myriad of functions within the crime scene that will help with an investigation. With focusing on the specifics of the scene of a traffic accident, the documentation must be precise and there is a specific way things are done in order to get the most accurate crime scene information.

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    What a Crime Scene Photographer Does

    In many cities and towns the crime scene photographer for that police department is a forensic scientist that is hired directly by the law enforcement agency. They can even be employed by a specialist forensic services company. To learn more about how would a crime scene photographer have documented the scene of a traffic accident, you must first know that they will have a degree in Criminology and may specialize in forensics. Since there are many aspects of a Criminology career, crime scene photography is just one of the specializations. While some criminologists may focus more on human interaction, a crime scene photographer focuses just on the accident scene and works to get the right evidence needed to determine exactly what happened. A forensic photographer will typically have a strong background in photography or a photography related course.

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    How a Crime Scene Photographer Documents a Scene

    When learning about how a crime scene photographer documents the scene of a traffic accident, there are certain aspects to know about. A forensic photographer may do any or all of the following:

    • Photograph the crime scene in full, including images of tire marks, blood patterns, bullet holes if applicable, broken glass, footprints, the area around the scene such as woods or roadside photographs and anything unusual that would pertain to the accident.
    • They must also have human interaction such as physical injury photographs and pictures of the deceased, if applicable.
    • The will create a detailed recording of all of the evidence that is available at the traffic accident scene.

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    How Their Evidence Helps an Investigation

    A crime scene photographer's evidence helps in a variety of ways. Important information that is gathered can help decide on who was at fault in an accident, how the accident happened and what chain of events led to the accident. This information can be used in court proceedings. This is imperative when there is any question of how an accident may have occurred or a case where there are two opposing parties each blaming the other. In homicide cases this is especially important because it will aid in finding the guilty party so that justice can be served. The forensics photographer must be unbiased and focus on the task at hand, rather than what they feel happened. In this scenario, it's all about the evidence.

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    The author is a Criminology major and has used their expertise for this article.

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    Image Resources

    Image resource: Wikimediacommons/Ragesoss