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Documenting Your Accident with Photographs

May 15 2020

There are many questions after an accident, but the most important is “What happened?”. Under New York law, a person must pay compensation to injured victims if their conduct was the cause of the injury, so everyone involved in an accident has an incentive to find out how the accident unfolded.

Consider this example: a person goes into a grocery store and slips and falls in the aisle, suffering a concussion, fracture, and ankle sprain. The store owner is not automatically liable simply because the customer fell in the store. Instead, the customer needs to prove that some defect in the store caused the fall. This hazard could be spilled water, condensation, loose tiles, or worn carpeting. And the cause of the fall must be something the store owner was aware of or should have been aware of but declined to fix.

How do you prove fault? Photographs are a key piece of evidence, so we encourage all accident victims to take photographs. Below, our NYC personal injury lawyers highlight what you need to know.

Use Your Smartphone

You don't have to have a fancy digital camera with you. Instead, your smartphone will do the trick just as well. If you don't have a phone, or you left it at home, then ask someone to take pictures for you.

Document What Injured You

So what do you actually take a picture of? Think of it this way—you are trying to reconstruct the accident as best you can with your photographs.

If something causes you to slip or trip, then take a picture of it.

If you were involved in a car accident, then get pictures of the damage to all cars involved. These pictures can help identify how the vehicles impacted. You should also get pictures of skid marks, which can show defensive movements a driver made.

If a road defect caused the accident, you should document it also. Potholes, uneven shoulders, debris in the road—get a couple of snaps before the hazard is fixed.

Don’t Photograph People without Their consent

You might think it’s a good idea to take pictures of people who were at the scene of the accident. You should probably avoid doing that. Never photograph anyone unless they give you permission. It is enough to call the police to come out to the accident scene and write a police report, as this report should identify witnesses.

Take Pictures of Your Injuries

By the time you go to trial or negotiate a settlement, months could pass. Your bruises will have faded, and cuts will have begun to heal. Remember to take vivid color photographs soon after the accident of your injuries. These can really drive home how badly you were hurt.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with One of Our NYC Personal Injury Lawyers

Documenting an accident is only half of the battle to get compensation for your injuries. You also need the right attorney by your side.

Contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman today. We have negotiated favorable settlements for hundreds of clients. Our firm offers a free consultation to those who reach out at 212-285-3300 or send us an online message.