Many attorneys will advise their clients to take pictures in personal injury cases. While I have written previously that they may not be valuable in all situations, their presence in cases can be very persuasive. It is important to note, however, that they do not always tell the complete story. Pictures can be just as biased as the testimony of a party or a witness, and it is imperative for a great attorney to place the picture in its proper context.
When a jury views the photograph of a catastrophic accident, like a totaled car in an intersection or a collapsed building in a construction accident, it can bias a jury about who was at fault in an accident. A good attorney will remember that a photo is just a snapshot in time. Unfortunately, it is rare that photos are taken immediately before the accident so the context is lost. A good attorney will understand that it is important to have a good story to explain the result of the picture. In a construction accident, for example, rarely are pictures of structures available before the buildings collapse. It may be prudent for an attorney to reconstruct the structure before the catastrophic accident took place. In a vehicle accident, there may be cameras available from nearby buildings or from red light cameras if you are fortunate enough to live in the Chicago area. The extra evidence can provide an additional frame of reference to the photograph.
If it makes sense to reconstruct an accident, the next step is to get the images introduced as evidence. It is necessary in the instance of reconstruction to have a party testify that the images are similar to how the original condition of the scene existed. Creating such 3-D images can allow a jury to get a better perspective on the accident.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance.