How to Use Photographs as Supporting Evidence in Your Injury Claim
If you’ve been in an accident, taking photographs of the scene can be crucial to success if you file a claim to recoup damages. This is equally true for car accidents, slip-and-fall accidents in a store or business, defective product accidents, or any other kind of mishap. If the accident can be shown, with photographic evidence, to be the result of another person’s or party’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim. It can help you to recoup your losses: the pain and suffering you’ve endured, lost wages for time away from work, medical bills you’ve accrued, and more.
Photographs can show a judge, a jury, or an insurance adjustor that the other party was at fault. If possible, take photographs immediately to support a future claim and then contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your potential legal action against those responsible. By working with an attorney, you can maximize the usefulness and impact of your photographs as evidence in your personal injury claim. An attorney can provide experienced guidance and support to help ensure that your photographs are used to their full potential in negotiating a settlement or in court. This is what we have spent the last 50-plus years doing on behalf of clients throughout New Jersey. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Cohen & Riechelson at 609-528-2596 for a free consultation regarding your case today.
Importance of Taking Photographs at the Scene of an Accident in New Jersey
By taking photos at the scene of an accident, you can provide valuable evidence to support your claim and help to ensure that you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained.
It’s important to note that taking photos should be done safely and not interfere with any ongoing investigations or emergency response efforts. If you are not able to take photos safely, it is best to wait for the proper authorities to arrive and document the scene.
Photographs can be extremely helpful in personal injury cases as they provide visual evidence of the extent of the injury, the conditions that led to the injury, and the events surrounding the injury. This type of evidence can be used to support a victim’s claims and help to establish liability.
How Can Photographic Evidence be Used in an Injury Claim?
Here are some ways that photographs can be used in a personal injury case, including car accidents, slip and fall accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction accidents, and other similar events that lead to injuries.
Documentation of injuries
Photos of the injury can help to document the extent and severity of the injury, and can be used to compare the injury over time to show the progress of healing or the worsening of the injury.
Evidence of the scene of the injury
Photos of the scene of the injury can help to demonstrate the conditions that led to the injury, such as traffic conditions, a slippery floor, a defective product, or a poorly maintained property.
Evidence of damages
Photos of damaged property, such as a car in a traffic accident, can help to establish the value of the damages incurred.
Evidence of causation
Photos of the sequence of events leading up to the injury can help to demonstrate the cause of the injury and support claims of liability.
Photos also need to be taken for the following reasons:
Photos can help to accurately depict the scene and the damages, reducing the likelihood of disputes or misunderstandings regarding the details of the accident.
Photos can serve as a memory aid for the person injured, helping to refresh their recollection of what happened and the conditions at the time of the accident.
Photos can be used in negotiations with insurance companies and in court to support claims for compensation and to demonstrate the extent of the damage and injury.
Photos can help to demonstrate the existence of a safety hazard, such as a slippery floor or poorly lit area, and can be used to hold the responsible party accountable for their failure to maintain a safe environment.
Taking photos of the scene and the hazards can also help to protect the rights of the person who fell, especially in cases where fault may be disputed.
By taking photos at the scene of any sort of accident, you can provide valuable evidence to support your claim and help to ensure that you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries sustained.
Types of Images to Collect after an Accident
Photographs can be extremely helpful in personal injury cases as they provide visual evidence of the extent of the injury, the conditions that led to the injury, and the events surrounding the injury. This type of evidence can be used to support a victim’s claims and help to establish liability. Take photos of the following:
- Injuries: Take close-up photos of all visible injuries, including bruises, cuts, and abrasions. If possible, take photos from different angles and distances to fully document the extent of the injury.
- The Scene: Take photos of the scene where the injury occurred, including any hazardous conditions that may have contributed to the injury, such as a slippery floor, a broken handrail, or a pothole in the road.
- Property Damage: Take photos of any property damage resulting from the injury, such as a damaged car in a traffic accident or a broken item in a slip and fall accident.
- Evidence of Fault: Take photos of any signs or markers that may indicate fault, such as skid marks on the road or warning signs that were ignored.
- Medical Equipment: Take photos of any medical equipment or devices used to treat the injury, such as crutches, casts, or braces.
- Treatment: Take photos of any treatments received for the injury, such as surgery or physical therapy, to demonstrate the extent of the injury and the effort made to recover from it.
It is important to note that photographs should be taken as soon as possible after the injury, as conditions may change or evidence may be lost or destroyed over time. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the photos are properly labeled and stored, as they may need to be submitted as evidence in court.
It may be helpful to have the photos reviewed by an expert witness who can provide additional context and support for the claims made in the personal injury case.
Key Reminders for Taking Effective Photos when Seeking Compensation for Injuries
- Timing: Take photos as soon as possible after the accident, as conditions may change and evidence may be lost or destroyed over time.
- Angle: Take photos from different angles and distances to fully document the scene and the injuries.
- Lighting: Ensure that the photos are taken in good lighting conditions, or use a flash if necessary, to provide clear and detailed images.
- Background: Include the entire scene in the photos, including any relevant background details, such as road signs, buildings, or landscaping.
- People: If possible, include people in the photos to provide a sense of scale and perspective and to help demonstrate the extent of the injuries.
- Evidence: Take photos of any physical evidence at the scene, such as skid marks, broken glass, or tire tracks, to help demonstrate the cause of the accident.
- Labeling: Label each photo with a description of what it depicts, the date and time it was taken, and the location.
- Quality: Use a high-quality camera or smartphone camera to take the photos, and make sure the images are clear, in focus, and properly exposed.
By following these tips, you can ensure that the photos you take accurately document the scene and injuries and provide valuable evidence to support your personal injury claim.
Parties That Benefit from Useful Photographic Evidence in NJ
There are several parties who can benefit from the use of photos as evidence in an accident scene:
- Injury Victims: Photos of the injury and the scene can help to demonstrate the extent and severity of the injury and can be used to support claims for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
- Lawyers: Photos can be used by lawyers to build a strong case and support their arguments in negotiations and in court.
- Insurance Companies: Photos can help insurance companies to better understand the accident and make informed decisions regarding claims and settlements.
- Judges and Juries: Photos can be used to help judges and juries better understand the accident and the circumstances leading up to it and to make fair and informed decisions in personal injury cases.
- Expert Witnesses: Photos can be used by expert witnesses to provide additional context and support for the claims made in the case, such as demonstrating the extent of the injury or the cause of the accident.
By providing visual evidence of the accident and its consequences, photos can play a crucial role in helping to determine fault, establish liability, and obtain fair compensation for those affected by a personal injury.
An Expert’s Role in Examining Visual Evidence
Accident reconstructionists are experts who use scientific methods to determine the cause and sequence of events in a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident. When taking and analyzing photos, they typically do the following:
Accident reconstructionists will take a series of photographs to document the scene, capturing the positions of the vehicles and other relevant evidence, such as skid marks, debris, and injuries. They will take precise measurements of the scene, including distances between vehicles and other objects, angles, and other physical features that can be used to calculate speeds and determine the trajectory of the vehicles. They will use the information gathered from the photos and measurements to create computer simulations of the accident, which can help to visualize the sequence of events and understand the physical forces involved. They will analyze the photos and simulations to determine the cause of the accident, the speed of the vehicles, and the timing and sequence of events. Accident reconstructionists may be called upon to provide expert testimony in court or in negotiations, using their analysis and findings to help support claims and determine fault.
The role of accident reconstructionists is to use their expertise and technical knowledge to provide impartial and scientifically sound evidence to help understand the cause and sequence of events in an accident. By analyzing photos, they can provide critical insights into the accident and help to determine fault and liability.
Our Skilled Attorneys Can Assist you with Photo Evidence
Ultimately, it is crucial to have an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer who knows how to best use your photographs to support their argument and demonstrate the cause of the accident and the extent of your injuries. Our personal injury lawyers at Cohen & Riechelson can help you incorporate your photographs as evidence in your accident claim in several ways. First, we can evaluate your photographs to determine their relevance and usefulness as evidence in your claim. We can also provide guidance on what types of photographs are most helpful and how to take them.
Further, we can authenticate your photographs as evidence by establishing the chain of custody and ensuring that the photos have not been altered or tampered with. Also, the attorneys on our team can help to present your photographs as evidence in the most effective manner, highlighting the key features and aspects of the scene that support your claim. We can also help to ensure that your photographs are admissible as evidence in court, working to overcome any objections or challenges to their use. Lastly, we use all of our past successes to inform our strategies, so we frequently use the photos to refute opposing arguments and to counter any evidence presented by the other side.
Contact Cohen & Riechelson to Utilize Photographic Proof for Your Personal Injury Claim
Call our New Jersey personal injury attorneys at 609-528-2596 today for a free evaluation of your claim in Lawrence, Hamilton, Ewing, Princeton, Trenton, and across Mercer County and New Jersey. Our accomplished law firm will consult with you on what happened, why it happened, the evidence you’ve gathered, and the pain and suffering you’ve endured to give you the best counsel on how to proceed. At Cohen & Riechelson, we are ready to help.