Are Photographs Important at a Slip and Fall Scene?
Author: Attorney Dennis Schaefer
Photographs are important at any accident scene. The age old expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, is true in all accident cases. It is especially true in slip and fall or trip and fall cases.
The scene in a trip and fall or slip and fall accident can change quickly. Visualize a scene where water, grease, food products in a grocery or other easily correctable dangerous conditions are on a floor or other walking surface. Even though you might see the dangerous condition, or have other witnesses to the dangerous condition, if it is cleaned up and corrected before photographs are taken this can and probably will negatively impact your case. Remember, there is nothing quite like being able to show the jury photographs as to the dangerous conditions where you were injured.
In addition to the easily cleaned and corrected scene, there is the scene where accurate measurements need to be taken and photographed. Showing with photographs accurate measurements depicting the exact size of cracks in walkways is great evidence. Photographs of bolts or screws not properly in place, hand rails on stairs that are broken, pot holes camouflaged by water and a myriad of other scenarios is significantly more powerful evidence if it is photographed.
Obviously it is the unusual accident victim who has the wherewithal to take photographs when they have been injured in an accident. However with almost every cell phone doubling as a camera and almost every person having a cell phone the ability to photograph an accident scene is highly probable. So if the question ever comes up, as to whether or not to photograph an accident scene, the answer is a resounding yes.