If you’ve been in an accident, the last thing on your mind might be taking pictures of the event. Of course, your first priority should be making sure that you and any family members or other individuals injured in the accident get the emergency medical care you all need, but, whenever possible, documenting the accident through photograph and video evidence can be critical to both: 1) being able to prove that another party was at fault in causing the accident, and thus liable to pay for the damages that you have suffered, and 2) help protect you from claims of negligence and defenses of contributory negligence raised against you.
Photos and Videos: The Antidote to “He Said, She Said”
When another party causes an accident – whether it be an automobile, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, gym, recreational, slip and fall, or any other type of accident – through his or her own careless, reckless, or intentional act, that party will be liable to you for the damages you suffer. This includes medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and so on. But, assuming that the other party is not willing to voluntarily make those payments, you will most likely need to be able to prove that the other party did indeed act negligently in causing the accident.
While photos and video are not absolutely necessary to being able to prove that other party was negligent (after all negligence lawsuits go back hundreds of years before the invention of the camera), they can be very compelling evidence in proving fault, especially when you and the other party are locked in a duelling “he said, she said” narrative of what happened in the moments leading up to the accident.
Taking Photos and Videos at the Accident Scene and Beyond
With that in mind, you should take out your smartphone at the accident scene whenever possible (and if you do not have a smartphone or other camera device, feel free to ask any helpful passersby for assistance with their smartphone and transmit the photos) and begin taking photos and/or video of:
- Your immediate injuries (cuts, bruises, etc.)
- All property damage you or others have suffered
- Any other aspect of the accident scene
If others took photos or video of the accident as it was occurring, ask for them to send you those and get their contact information if possible. Also note if there are any surveillance cameras around, such as in a store parking lot, and inquire about that video as well.
You should also work with your personal injury attorney to continue to document your injuries via photos and videos in the days and weeks to come. In many cases, a frequent issue in litigation is just how much of a victim’s injuries are authentic and attributable to an accident, and your photographic evidence can go a long way in making that case in a compelling manner, helping you to win a speedy and comprehensive financial recovery.
Contact a Utah Personal Injury Attorney You Can Trust
Steve Jensen is a personal injury attorney based in Utah committed to seeking justice on behalf of plaintiffs who have suffered serious injury. With years of experience in obtaining significant settlements and verdicts for plaintiffs at one of the largest personal injury firms in Utah, Steve has the resources and skills to work on your behalf in pursuing justice in your personal injury claim. Contact him today to set up a consultation to discuss your personal injury matter and your best options for relief.