Our Michigan personal injury lawyers make every attempt to photograph accident scenes and damaged vehicles as soon as possible after we are contacted by an injury victim. The importance of photographic evidence in Michigan personal injury cases cannot be underestimated. Pictures and video can be used for many purposes in proving a case. In fact, they can help you win your Michigan auto accident case, Detroit slip and fall cases, Troy dog bite case, and even your Flint lead poisoning case.
Because many witnesses forget important details or simply refuse to admit the truth, a photograph can be used to prove a condition or provide the jury with an actual view and understanding of a location. For example, a person who falls on a broken step or cracked sidewalk can take a picture of the condition on the date of the injury or shortly thereafter. A property owner or city can repair the condition and without a photograph, it is often difficult to prove at later date what caused the trip and fall accident. The same goes for a spill on a slippery aisle of a store that causes a slip and fall accident.
Photographs taken at the scene of car accidents (immediately after an accident) can preserve location of vehicles, angles of vehicles, and the location of various landmarks at the time of the incident. Many times the accident scene, including landmarks, will change by the time a lawsuit is filed and discovery proceeds. Most of the time witness accounts of vehicles positions, angles, and the existence and location of landmarks will vary greatly. Simply preserving landmarks as soon as possible after an accident will go along way toward proving your case.
Photographic documentation of damages is also extremely important. Photographs of damage to vehicle and the injuries will often add substantial value to a claim. On many occasions a claimant is left to establish damage to vehicles through repair records alone. While repair records are helpful, they never give the complete picture of damages.
Understanding The Value of Photographic Evidence
In addition, photographs of injuries, including transition periods from hospital care to home care, can add substantial value to a claim. Photographic evidence of a person receiving treatment in a hospital setting can be compelling. Photographs of lacerations with stitches and staples still in place are much more compelling than photographs of the scar taken after removal of those items. This is simply the best way to explain injuries and damages to a jury because medical records provide descriptions of injuries, but no visual evidence.
Photographic evidence taken years after an incident can also provide valuable information to a jury. In Michigan, as long as the photographs are established to depict a condition that was “substantially similar” to a condition that existed at the time of the incident, they will be admissible.
While the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” may have originated with an advertising agency, there can be no dispute that the value of a picture for use in litigation is priceless. If you were injured in an accident, it is important to hire a law firm as soon as possible so that pictures can be taken to preserve important evidence.
For more information on your legal rights after a Michigan car accident or personal injury accident, call our law firm now at (800) 606-1717 to speak with an experienced attorney. Our office will start working on your case immediately and begin gathering the witness statements and evidence to prove and win your case. Call today for your free, no obligation consultation!