Determining who was at fault in your personal injury, accident or injury case can sometimes be determined by physical evidence - something you can touch, see, or examine, as opposed to just describing or talking about it. There are a number of things that should be done to help improve the value of your case.
Examples of physical evidence include:
- Skid marks, to establish the speed of the vehicles;
- The point of impact of the collision;
- Damage to the vehicles;
- Holes in the sidewalk that caused a fall;
- Defective or broken stairs or walkways;
- Damaged, ripped, or blood-stained clothing.
Physical evidence can also show the extent of the damage. Photographs of the vehicles can establish the force of the impact; a copy of your motor vehicle auto-body repair bill can establish the extent of the damage to your vehicle; and torn or bloody clothing can dramatically show that your injuries were very severe.
If your case involves a defective product, keep the product. If your case involves an injury due to a foreign object, keep the object. If your injury requires a cast, a brace, screws, plates, or any other appliance, save it as evidence.
When taking pictures of physical evidence and features of the scene that may have contributed to the accident, it is best to use a digital camera or a camera that makes negatives that later can be blown up or enlarged. Have the film developed immediately in case certain pictures did not come out properly and need to be retaken, or e-mail us the photographs. The person who took the photographs should also write on the back of each one the date on which it was taken and what the photograph depicts. You should also keep your receipt for the development of the pictures to further verify when they were taken.
It is very important to involve an experienced personal injury lawyer in your case at the earliest possible moment. Physical evidence changes very quickly over a short period of time which might make otherwise very valuable evidence worthless. It also might make your attorney’s job of proving the liability of the at fault party that much more difficult. There might also be a need to hire an investigator to take statements or photographs which should be done as close to the time of the accident as possible.