How to take photographs to improve your chances of being properly compensated for personal injury if you trip or stumble due to a defect in the street, road, or public place.

If you are unfortunate enough to trip or stumble in a street, road, or other public place, you will want to ensure that you are properly compensated for any personal injury that you may suffer. Taking photographs is an important part of ensuring that you are properly compensated. Why is this?

There are at least 4 reasons why photographs are important:

  1. Taking photographs is one way of preserving evidence. It is possible that the defect will be repaired shortly after you have tripped or stumbled and, once it has been, it may be more difficult to prove that there was such a defect.


  1. Photographs can help others, including a judge, to understand what caused you to trip or stumble. This is important as, among other things, to get compensation, you need to show that there was a defect that caused you to trip or stumble.


  1. Good photographs can provide key information, such as the dimensions of the defect. For example, if, due to the movement of one or more paving slabs, a footpath becomes uneven, it may be that this uneven surface results in “tripping points”. A good photograph, using a ruler or other item to give an indication of dimensions, may help show the height of a “tripping point”. Again, this provides useful information to anyone deciding whether you should be compensated for your injury.


  1. Photographs can help deal with any suggestion that you have been negligent in having tripped or stumbled. For instance, it could be alleged that you were contributorily negligent in failing to notice a warning sign or some other indicator (such as, perhaps, yellow paint) that should have alerted you to the risk created by the defect. A photograph may demonstrate that there was no such warning sign or indicator or that it was not as visible as is suggested.

How should photographs be taken?

It is best to take several photographs, such as the following:

A. A photograph or photographs that show(s) the general area where you fell. Ideally the photograph(s) will show enough of the surrounding area to identify the name of the street or location where you fell. Do not worry if there is no street or other sign visible. The main thing is that someone looking at the photograph can identify the location. It would be ideal if the defect, that caused you to fall, is also visible in the photograph(s). It would be helpful if the photograph(s) show the direction in which you were travelling before you fell.


B. Photographs that show (a) enough of the surrounding area to identify the location and (b) the defect where you fell. These photographs will help prove that the defect that caused you to fall is in the street or location mentioned in ‘A’ above.


C. Close-up photographs of the defect that show the following:


  • the defect that caused you to fall.
  • your direction of travel just before you encountered the defect.
  • the dimensions of the defect, that is, the height, length, and breadth of any defect.


When taking photographs, it is also a good idea to check if anyone has, or is likely to have, relevant CCTV footage. If anyone has, or is likely to have, relevant CCTV footage, it can be a good idea to ask them to retain that footage and to get their contact details.


The suggestions in this article are general in nature and do not constitute specific advice. If you require advice specific to your circumstances, we can help you. For further details, and to find out how we can help you, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.




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