Sometimes it doesn’t matter how careful you are – another person’s reckless behavior puts your safety at risk. In general, slip and fall cases can be difficult to pursue. Unlike a car accident, where property damage can illustrate the severity of the collision, there’s often no concrete proof that the fall happened where and how you say it did – or that it happened at all. If you slip and fall on ice, you have only a short window of opportunity to gather evidence of the safety hazard that put you at risk before the ice melts or is removed (preventing future accidents, but still too late to help you).
There’s one way you can preserve the patch of ice or snow that caused your fall – in pictures. Many of the biggest slip and fall claims our office has handled were so successful in part because the victims made an insightful choice. Despite the distraction of their pain and worry, they took (or had someone else take) photographs of the scene where they slipped and fell. Photographing the danger now, before it vanishes, can make any claim you need to pursue much stronger – and if you find out that your injuries are minor and you don’t need to seek compensation, you can always delete the pictures later.
Here are our top tips for photographing the scene of a slip and fall on ice:
- Don’t despair if you don’t have a high-quality camera on you – photographs taken with a cell phone camera will work just fine, as long as they show the hazard that caused you to slip. Just make sure you save the pictures in a place where no one can accidentally delete them, like on a cloud storage system.
- Take pictures of the hazard from several different angles – you don’t know yet what image will be the most useful or if any one angle will provide more information than the others. You can’t have too many pictures – if it turns out later on that you don’t need any of them, just get rid of them then.
- Ice can be difficult to spot, which could very well be the reason you fell in the first place. Even if you can’t get the ice itself to show up clearly in your pictures, take photographs anyway. Any glare in the image can indicate a slippery or wet surface.
- Don’t forget that pictures of the ground, however icy, don’t convey every piece of evidence in your argument. You also want proof of the injuries you sustained, so take pictures of any visible damage to your body, such as cuts and bruises. Your injuries will change over time, so make sure to photograph them more than once over the course of your recovery. You want the insurance company to see how seriously you were hurt, so don’t shy away from taking pictures of an ugly wound. The insurance adjuster can handle it, and if not, it’s all the more reason for the insurer to pay you more money.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” When insurance adjusters are trying to twist your words and use them against you, though, the right photograph can be worth far more than that.