If you are injured, one of the most important things you can do immediately following the incident is to document and preserve any relevant evidence. Frequently, clients' claims are more difficult to prove because evidence was not preserved or documented. Most times, attorneys are not retained until months after an accident occurs (and after evidence is normally lost), therefore it is essential that clients take the initiative to preserve and document evidence.
How do I preserve evidence?
The easiest ways clients can document evidence is simply taking a picture. Today, everyone has a camera available to them all of the time; on their cell phone. If you are in an automobile accident, you should immediately take pictures of the accident scene (including the placement of the vehicles) and of the damage to any vehicles. Injuries including bruises, scrapes, stitches, casts and scars should also be documented. In slip and fall cases, the area that caused the accident should be photographed, including any uneven pavement, liquid spills and/or obstacles.
Further, it is imperative in product liability cases that the actual product causing the injury is preserved as evidence. It is nearly impossible to prove a product is defective (unless the actual design is the alleged defect) unless the product is preserved.
Remember, evidence evaporates over time. Skid marks disappear. Automobiles get repaired or sold. Injuries begin to heal and fade. It is important to retain as much evidence as possible as soon as possible. It makes your attorney’s job easier and it strengthens your case. If you have any questions about preserving evidence to make the most of your case, please contact us.