Photographic and video graphic evidence is of enormous value in a personal injury case. The evidence can help a claims adjuster, or a jury understand how a particular accident occurred and the extent of any resulting injuries. But there are some important considerations accident victims should take into account when gathering or capturing pictures and videos. Let’s take a look.
Smart phones are now more capable than ever when it comes to taking pictures and videos. Use this technology to your benefit if you’re involved in a personal injury accident. If you’re not seriously injured in the accident, use your phone to take photos and videos of the accident scene. Further, make sure to take shots and videos from many different angles. If you are physically unable to take photos, ask a friend or family member to take them for you.
Once you’ve captured your pictures and videos, never edit or alter them. For example, don’t try to change anything using an online tool like Photoshop. If you do, you’ll lose credibility with an insurance company or a judge/jury.
Try to have your phone put a time stamp on your images. A date on an image helps show that it is credible evidence of your accident. If your phone cannot place a time stamp on a photo, print the photo out and write the date that it was taken on the back.
Specific Pictures to Take
Different accidents will require different photographic and video graphic evidence. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you’ll want images that capture:
- The damage to any vehicles,
- The damage to any other property involved (for example, a street sign),
- The area of the accident, including any relevant signs and traffic signals,
- The position the vehicles were in immediately after the accident took place, and
- The weather conditions that existed at the time the accident happened.
If, however, you were involved in a slip and fall accident, you’ll want images that capture:
- The area where you fell,
- Any object or condition that may have caused your fall (for example, a wet floor, an icy sidewalk, broken stairs, or loose carpeting),
- The clothing you were wearing at the time of your accident (including your shoes),
- Any property that was damaged (for example, eyeglasses, watches, or handbags), and
- In most cases, the weather conditions that existed at the time of the slip and fall.
The key in deciding on what photos to take is to think about a reasonable person. Ask yourself what a reasonable person would need to see to help:
- understand how your accident occurred, and
- believe the extent of your injuries.
When in doubt, error on the side of taking too many photographs and videos. It’s often easier to delete photos then try and re-create an accident scene to take more photos.
Pictures of Your Injuries
Don’t forget to take pictures of any injuries you may have suffered in your accident. Try and take them before and after you receive medical care. If your injuries require certain medical procedures (for example, a surgery), take photos before and after the procedure.
You’ll also want to document your healing. So, try and take photos and videos for every day for about a week after the date of your injury. If healing requires more time, then keep taking photos after the first week.
Photos of your injuries will help show an insurance adjuster or a jury the true extent of your injuries. Images can also help parties understand the pain and difficulty in recovering from an accident. Both of these only result in greater value for your case.
Contact Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC
If you or a loved was injured in an accident, please know that Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC is here to help. Our attorneys provide free consultations to all our potential clients. Further, the attorneys at our law firm have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured parties. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal assistance you deserve.