HOW MUCH WEIGHT DO PHOTOGRAPHS CARRY IN A PERSONAL INJURY CASE?
There is an old Confucian or Chinese proverb that says, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Unfortunately, most attorneys are too wordy. We probably talk too much, when we probably should allow pictures, photographs, drawings, blueprints, demonstrative evidence like that do our speaking for us because they speak louder and paint the picture of accidents and injuries and their aftermath more vibrantly. Photographs and pictures are extremely important; the sooner and the more, the better. Right after an accident, if you’re able to, get out your smartphone and start taking pictures and videos of everything, including the damage to both vehicles, not just yours, something that many people forget to do.
They’ll take pictures of the damage to their vehicle right after the accident, and not take any of the bad guy’s car, because they only care about theirs, but in reality, when you are putting a personal injury claim together, you want to be able to vividly show an insurance adjuster or a judge or jury the dramatic impact that caused your personal injuries by showing them the damage to the car that hit you, as well as the damage to yours. That completes a great detailed picture of how strong the impact was that caused your personal injuries, plus the more property damage that was done to the two vehicles, the more likely the adjuster or the judge or jury, being human, will assume the personal injury was to you.
If it’s a slip, trip and fall case, you want to take pictures, if possible, of where and what you fell on, whether it a loose railing on a stairway going down that caused you to fall, or you tripped on a rug that was not tacked down properly, or a hole that was left in a sidewalk, or water or other fluids or banana peels or grapes or ice cream or soft drinks that may have spilled on floors or stairways that caused you to slip and fall.
Likewise, if an electrical product blew up and injured you, taking pictures of the product that’s left over and the pieces of it are all important. You want to take pictures of injuries that are visible as soon as possible, preferably at the scene of the accident or shortly thereafter and then take them in the doctor’s office and continue to take them every day, maybe even several times a day. If you have cuts, burns, bruises or contusions, all of those things are highly important to give to the insurance adjuster or judge or jury to show the degree of your injury and then, to impute the degree of pain and suffering that must have occurred as a result of the dramatic pictures you take to show the stitches and resulting scars.
Scarring and disfigurement are extremely important and must be documented by photographing them constantly from the beginning. We come full circle to a picture is worth a thousand words; they can create the necessary total view of why you are complaining about the injuries, the pain and the suffering and disfigurement you are suffering from, which means we can put a monetary value on that for settlement or trial.