Photographing your injuries from an automobile accident

If you have been injured in an automobile accident and will be making an injury claim under the other driver’s automobile insurance policy, there is a simple step you can take that will help document your claim. If you have sustained bruising, a laceration, have had stitches (including from a surgery) or as is with common with motorcycle accidents, road rash, or have other obvious injuries you can and should take photographs to document these injuries. Bruises heal fairly rapidly so you should document them before they fade away.

Here’s an example of how documenting injuries can help. “Dashboard knee” is an injury that car accident victims may experience, sometimes causing damage to their Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), a ligament that helps stabilize the knee joint. Meniscus injuries in the  knee can also be caused by direct trauma to the knee. By photographing bruising to the knee area an injured person has documented evidence of direct trauma to the knee that is consistent with internal damage to the knee.  If a test such as an MRI later shows an internal knee injury, the photographs of the bruising are further support that the knee injury was a result of the car accident.

If you were taken to the emergency room or saw a doctor close in time to your car accident, you may think that the photographs are unnecessary because your bruises will be documented in your medical records. Unfortunately that is not always the case: just because you complain about pain to a part of your body does not necessarily mean your complaints will be recorded in your medical records. Likewise one part of your body may hurt much more than others, and your complaints may be focussed on the most painful part. Also bruises do not always show themselves right away but might appear after you have been discharged from the emergency room.

If you do take pictures to document injuries, you will probably be using a digital camera. A digital photographs costs you nothing, so take plenty of pictures. Make sure the pictures are well-lit but also make sure that if you are using a flash, the flash does not white-out the details, bruises, etc. Make sure a few pictures are taken showing the injured person’s face and injured body part in the same shot to avoid any accusations that the bruised knee could be anybody’s.

If you have questions about how to handle your automobile accident injury claim you can speak to a personal injury attorney at Smith & Hassler for a no cost consultation. Just give our office a call or submit your case through our web site at