A picture's worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to presenting an effective slip and fall case. Photos from your smartphone or digital camera can be used to document the extent of your injuries and support a claim for negligence.
Taking Photos of Your Injuries
Photos of injuries should include a shot of the entire person to use as identification, plus close-up shots of specific visible injuries. This includes surgical sites, as well as any casts or braces that are being used.
It is also a good idea to document the healing process by taking photos of injuries over time. Since personal injury cases can take quite some time to settle, the worst of your injuries will have healed by the time settlement negotiations or a court date take place. Having documented visual evidence of your pain and suffering is invaluable.
Taking Photos of the Accident Scene
Photos of the scene of the accident are important to help establish liability for your injuries. As you're photographing, remember to take photos from a wide range of angles. Photos taken from up high show different details than ones taken at eye level. A hazard that's visible when you're looking to the left might not be apparent from the right. Cover all your bases, and review the images later to determine what will be helpful.
Close-up photos of the area where you fell will be particularly helpful. Even if you're not sure why you fell, the photos might reveal clues to your attorney. For example, photos of a staircase might show the presence of a building code violation such as a worn or warped guardrail.
Pictures should be taken as soon as possible after the accident to prevent anyone from altering the scene. If your injuries prevent you from taking photos, ask a friend or family member to handle this task.
Taking Photos of Your Outfit
Photos of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the accident can also be used as evidence, particularly if you are female. Often, defendants will try to argue that a woman's poor clothing choices, such as high heels or a skirt that drags on the floor, contributed to the accident.
As you're photographing your outfit, take close-up photos of any rips, tears, scuffs, blood stains, or other signs of damage caused by the accident. This can be used to support your claim that your injuries were in fact caused by the slip and fall.
Although you'll have the photos as evidence, note that you should still save your clothing and shoes to present to the court, if necessary. Place them in a safe location without laundering, so they can be used later if needed.
General Photography Notes
You don't need to be an expert photographer to take effective photos to use as evidence in a slip in fall claim. However, you should keep the following tips in mind:
- If you're in low lighting, use the flash. However, pay close attention to make sure the glare from the flash isn't washing out or obscuring any important details.
- Check to make sure your images are in focus as you're shooting.
- If you're photographing your outfit or injuries, remove any clutter from the background to make it easier to direct attention to what is important.
- Don't use any filters or image editing apps to alter the photos.
- Make at least one copy of the images or back them up to a cloud storage service to avoid accidentally erasing them before they are needed.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation
A personal injury settlement for a slip and fall accident can include compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses, including anticipated future medical costs if you've been left with a permanent disability
- Lost wages, including applicable loss of future earning potential due to a disability
- Pain and suffering, including both physical pain and emotional trauma
An experienced personal injury attorney can work on your behalf to secure the highest possible settlement. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review with Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team.