I’VE BEEN INJURED. WHAT SHOULD I DO FIRST? Taking Photos After an Accident Can Help Your Case
You’ve been injured in either a workplace accident or personal injury accident (motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, etc.). The first thing you should do is seek whatever immediate medical attention you need. The next thing you should do is take photos of the scene.
As soon as possible after your accident, take photos of:
- Your injury – immediately afterward and throughout the healing process (cuts, scrapes, bruising, swelling, etc.);
- Conditions such as spilled liquid, gravel, food, oil, etc. that might have made the surface slippery;
- Holes, potholes, divots, ruts, puddles, piles;
- Debris such as pieces of equipment, wood, metal, building materials, etc., whether on the ground, sticking out, or hanging down;
- Lack of handrails, guardrails, and other safety features;
- Anything else that will help show the conditions of the scene at or near the time of your injury.
Take photos as soon as you can after the accident to get the most accurate record of the scene. If you wait too long, especially at a construction site, things likely will have been moved and changed and your photos will be far less helpful.
You don’t need photos to establish a workplace injury for workers’ compensation purposes. But, if there is a third party on site who was negligent and contributed to your injury, the photos could help establish a cause of action against that third party.
And, in the case of an off-the-job personal injury, photos can be very helpful to establish the identity and liability of the defendant.