The Importance of High Quality Photographs in Personal Injury Cases
As soon as possible after the injury occurs, someone on behalf of the injured person should take high quality, in-focus, color photographs of the scene from various angles, and every witness and other person at the scene. If the incident involves a car crash, photographs should be taken of all vehicles involved in the collision, all property damaged in the collision, including personal belongings inside the vehicle, road signs, mailboxes, fences, and the like, all traffic control devices in the area, all street lights and other artificial lighting devices in the area, and any other object or person that may be relevant to any issue in the case.
Other important photographs include:
- Skid marks, if any, left by the vehicles – to record the length of the skid marks, position a linear measuring device, like a tape measure, from the beginning to the end of the skid marks, and make sure the numbers on the tape are visible in the photograph
- Debris from the vehicles on the roadway
- Gouge marks in the surface of the roadway
- Weather conditions
- Road surface conditions (wet, dry, paved, etc.)
- Injuries over time – be sure to include the date and time that each photograph was taken – some cameras will automatically add a date stamp
- Assistive devices, such as crutches, braces, casts, ramps, rails, wheelchairs, and all other devices and appliances used in treatment and rehabilitation
- All empty medicine bottles lined up on a level surface, with the labels clearly visible
- All visible marks on the person’s body caused by the wreck, including scars, bruises, cuts, gashes, burns, and scrapes
- Home health aids, such as special beds, traction devices, and the like
Once you have taken the photographs, immediately save them on a removable SD or similar storage card. Remove the card from the camera, and insert the card in a card reader connected to a computer. View each photograph to ensure that the subject is in focus and that all photographs are on the card. Then, copy all photographs on the card, and paste the copies to a directory on your computer. This will give you one copy of the photographs on the card and a second copy on your computer’s hard drive. Then, out of an abundance of caution, upload all photographs to a secure storage location on the web. There are many to choose from. Select a storage site that has been in existence for years. You simply cannot have too many copies of these types of photographs.