Written by attorney Joyce J. Sweinberg

How to Take Photographs of Physical Injuries for a Personal Injury Claim

If you are in an accident, you should always take photographs to document the injuries just in case there is a need for them later. The doctor or the nurse in the hospital do not always document every complaint given by a patient. What seems minor now could become a permanent painful injury.

1. No smiling. Do not smile in any photographs. This is legal photography, not a portrait.

2. No jewelry. Do not wear jewelry or makeup, and please wear clean, casual clothing.

3. No clutter. Take your photo in a setting without too many household objects in the photo, e.g., mirrors, tables, etc., in the background.

4. Whole person shot. Always take one view of the whole person in order to identify the person whose bruised leg, broken arm, etc, is depicted.

5. Multiple shots. Take more than one shot of each view and pay special attention to focus.

6. Casts & braces. If there is a cast or brace, etc take a photo of it.

7. Surgical sites. If there is surgery, take a photo(s) of the surgical site.

8. Zoom in. Zoom in for closeup shots of all bruises, casts, surgical sites, scars, etc. Shots should be taken from more than one angle, right and left, since some scars wash out at a direct angle.

9. Zoom out. Zoom out and also take an overall shot of a bruise or scar. For example, if the scar is on the leg, take a closeup but also take a picture of the leg and where the scar is on the leg.

10. Save on digital CD. Save the pictures onto a disc if you use a digital camera. If you do not have digital, when you get the photos processed, include a cd of the photos as part of your order. That way, you can easily reproduce them for your attorney or whoever else you need to provide them to for substantiation of your injuries.

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