We at vegas west attorneys are often asked by potential clients if they should take pictures of the scene after a car accident, or even the scene of a slip and fall, or other accident. The quick answer is “yes.” And videos too. And, you can’t take too many. But, keep in mind that you don’t want to jeopardize your safety, the safety of others, in your efforts. It is also important to use good judgment under the circumstances.
With those caveats, below is our guide regarding to taking pictures or video:
– Try to take the pictures and videos before the cars are moved, if it is safe to do so;
– Take pictures from multiple angels, up close and from afar. The pictures from afar should include background buildings and other fixed items that will allow a person to recreate the accident location on a map that might eventually be used in litigation or claims resolution. The close pictures could better represent the violent nature of a collision. Videos can be useful to document something that a photograph will not, such as a piece of your car that is loose when it shouldn’t be.
– Don’t forget to take pictures of the other person’s car also, particularly if it sustained a lot of damage, and more particularly if it sustained more damage than your vehicle;
– Take pictures of the other person’s license plate (one is enough) and driver’s license and insurance card;
– If ANYONE has a visible injury, then try and get those pictures and video if someone is limping. Blood on the scene, or someone being removed in a stretcher is powerful evidence for a jury. Person’s crying or cringing are too.
– A slip and fall, or trip and fall, often rests on whether the impediment was “open and obvious.” so well framed pictures and video can prove your case. Don’t forget to shoot in the direction you were walking and take them from your eye level and if the sun was in your eyes then document your evidence before the sun moves too much. A blinding setting-sun can move to a not-so-blinding level in a matter of minutes.
– Pictures of bruises and healing wounds can be taken over a course of weeks, even months if it takes that long to heal. Sometimes a bruise looks worse a week later than on the day of the injury. As a result, bruises should be photographed daily.
Ultimately, pictures and videos can be helpful for your case. To ensure that the pictures can be used in legal proceedings, document when the pictures were taken. If the pictures were taken by someone other than yourself, then it might be necessary for that person to authenticate the pictures and lay the foundation (dates and sometimes the time of day also).
If you are in an accident, and have any questions about the issues of the accident, even about taking pictures and videos, you should call vegas west attorneys for a consultation and evaluation of your case.