Shoot First, Ask Questions Later: The Importance of Photographing Your Accident Scene
You’ve been in a car accident. New Jersey’s road systems saw 299,575 automotive accidents in 2010 alone.
Or you may have slipped on an icy sidewalk outside of a store or, alternatively, been bitten by a neighbor’s dog down the block.
“Stressful” doesn’t begin to describe these unfortunately common life moments. You’re likely to be in shock. Upset, angry, and justifiably concerned, too. You may even be severely injured.
When the worst happens, the first and foremost concern is your safety and the safety of those around you.
Then you need to be your own best advocate and, if possible, begin gathering the evidence necessary to build a successful personal injury case…
One of the most important initial steps is to take photographs of any and all property damage as well as the accident scene.
After you and your love ones are out of harm’s way, this should be the first step after returning home following an automobile accident. Insurance companies and attorneys will require photographic documentation of the damage to your automobile in order to adequately assess your claim.
When your injuries resulted from a dog bite, you should immediately photograph any visible injuries as well as preserve and photograph your sullied clothing after having sought appropriate medical treatment.
For both slip and fall and automobile accidents, it’s also extremely important to photograph the accident scene. For example, if you slipped on a solid sheet of ice in a commercial parking lot and are badly injured as a result, your recovery likely turns on whether the property owner or commerical tenant were “negligent” in permitting that condition to exist.
Remember: to succeed in any personal injury claim, your attorney will need to demonstrate (1) the liability of the defendant or defendants, (2) the causative relationship between Defendant’s actions or omissions and your injury, and (3) damages.
So you may have incurred significant injuries after slipping on ice in a supermarket parking lot, but proper photographic documentation can help your attorney establish both why you fell (liability) in addition to whether the condition that caused your fall could have or should have been remediated or prevented by the defendants (liability).
Above all else, remember that nothing can change the past. Your future, however, could very well hinge on how well YOU protect your rights before the next logicial step in the wake of an accident: consulting a New Jersey personal injury attorney.
The personal injury attorneys at DeMichele & DeMichele will evaluate your claim, explain the litigation process and, should you decide to proceed, vigorously pursue the physical and medical evidence necessary to establish a successful personal injury case. Even when you have followed the correct steps and photographed the accident scene and any property damage, it is extremely important to have an attorney that knows New Jersey’s Rules of Evidence and can properly secure the admission of your evidentiary photographs before a court of law.