It can be a very important step in the process of the dog bite victim getting damages for their injury to take photographs of the wound as evidence. The victim needs to have pictures taken of the wound at several points in time following the incident: immediately afterwards before any treatment, during the initial treatment, immediately after the treatment, one day afterwards, the next day after that, a week later, at any point where the injury goes through noticeable changes, if surgery has been performed on the injury and at the point when the injury has completely healed.
There was a time when pricy professional photographers would be needed to take all these pictures, but now almost everybody has a digital camera in some form. However, special care must be taken to take pictures of the wound in a way that will emphasize damage the most. Since most dog bite victims would be considered amateur photographers, keep these basics in mind for your pictures. Take them outside, during the day while the sun is bright, but in the shade where no sun is actually hitting anything in the picture. Do not have any animals, friends or family members in the photo or anything distracting in the background, and do not take it in front of a brightly colored object, like red brick.
Make sure the camera has the right settings for your photo. Turn the flash and zoom off and keep the white balance, focus and exposure on auto. Most camera and phones will have these settings automatically. The files should be in the .jpg format and your lawyer will need the original card with which the pictures were taken. Do not change the pictures in any way after taking them.
The victim should be clean and conservatively dressed. If the wound is on the face, be especially sure that the face, ears and nose are clean. Shave if necessary and do not apply makeup. No jewelry or other fashion accessories should be worn. If the wound is in an area that clothes would normally cover, be sure to leave that area uncovered. If underwear is visible, make sure it is modest. If the wound is on the buttock, thigh, breast or other area that would be embarrassing for both the onlooker and the victim to have visible, make sure only the wounded portion is seen. The face of the victim does not need to be in every picture if the injury is not on the head.
In the photo, the victim should never be smiling. Unless completely impossible, the victim should be standing, even if the injury is on the leg or foot. The victim should look straight ahead with little or no expression, stand casually and do not point at anything. Do not take the picture while the victim is crying or immediately after crying. Pictures should be taken that show the victim from head to injury, from the front and from either side. If the injury is on the face, make sure the entire head is visible in every shot.
Pictures should be taken immediately after the attack to graphically show the effects of the injury, during any treatment or surgery if possible to show what was done, during recovery to show the length and severity of ongoing pain and suffering and during the settlement proceedings, but before trial if one is to take place so that they can be used as evidence. Appropriate pictures should also be provided of the victim before the incident for comparison. If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you in every step of the process of recovering damages. Call experienced lawyer Nick Ortiz at 850-308-7833 to discuss a claim further.