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Use Of Photographs In Slip And Fall Cases.May 28, 2013
When someone is hurt following a fall on someone’s property, most experienced Buffalo personal injury attorneys would like to have photographs of the area where the fall occurred. Preferably, these photographs should be taken soon after the injury occurred. While not all photographs can be used as evidence in personal injury cases, it is usually not too difficult to have a photograph admitted as evidence.
Generally, a photograph is admissible in court if it fairly and accurately shows where the accident happened as it appeared at the time of the accident. To use such a photograph as evidence, the person who took the photograph is not even required to testify about its content. Instead, all that is needed is for any witness who observed the location at that time, such as the injured person, to testify that the photo fairly and accurately depicts the location at the time of the accident. So if a friend of family member takes photos while the injured person in still recovering, it is unlikely that they will be needed later to testify about the photos in court.
When a photograph is taken shortly after an accident and shows an obviously dangerous condition – one that the party responsible for maintaining the property reasonably should have discovered – it may be used in court as proof that the defendant was aware of the condition. When a photograph is used this way, there must be testimony that defect in the photo was the one that caused the injury. Photographs taken long after the injury occurred are not admissible for this purpose.
If you have suffered an injury by slipping or tripping on someone’s property, we can answer your questions at 716-400-0000.