Preserving Evidence in a Personal Injury Case


As in any lawsuit, the evidence is vital, and personal injury cases are no different. If you have been injured in a car accident, or if you were bitten by a dog, or if you fell downstairs in a building, or if you slipped and fell on a wet floor, or if merchandise fell on your head, you want to do everything you can to preserve the evidence before evidence is lost.

When you’re in an accident, one of two things will occur: 1) you’ll be in good enough shape to gather evidence immediately, or 2) your injuries will be so serious, you’ll have to return to the scene after you receive medical treatment. Either way, it’s important that evidence is preserved, because the more evidence you have, the stronger your case.

How Do I Preserve Evidence?

How you preserve evidence has much to do with the facts of your case and the types of evidence available. However, in almost all instances, the first place you’ll turn to is something that you probably have within six feet of you right now: your smartphone.

Smartphones are great for taking pictures and videos of the accident scene. If you’re in a car accident, for example, take a variety of pictures from different angles. If you slipped and fell on water in an entrance to a building, take lots of pictures of the wet floor and the conditions. Same goes for video. Video footage can be very helpful.

If you are dealing with a dishonest individual, business or property owner, be aware that physical evidence can be destroyed or repaired before the insurance company can examine it. Because of this, it’s vital to take pictures before anything can be changed. For example, a low-lying branch on a bicycle path can be cut. An overgrown bush that blocks drivers’ view of oncoming vehicles can be trimmed, a broken fence where a vicious dog escaped can be repaired, torn carpeting that caused you to trip can be replaced, and so on.

But this isn’t just about taking pictures of car accident scenes and dangerous conditions. Take pictures of your injuries right after they happen and save damaged property or clothing that is torn or bloody from an assault or car crash. A picture your face all bruised, bloody and swollen will impact a jury a lot more than seeing you completely healed in the courtroom.

When you take photos with your smartphone, develop them immediately at Walmart, Costco, or someplace else that develops photos and make sure the business developing the photos displays the date on the back of the photographs, or at least make sure the receipt indicates the date.

Next: Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in Colorado

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