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As an attorney representing injured railroad workers throughout the southeastern United States and accident victims in Virginia and North Carolina, I have witnessed the benefit my clients have received from photographs taken by cell phones. I have represented several clients who had enough foresight, or had co‑workers with the foresight, to quickly snap photographs of conditions which caused serious injuries to my clients. The photographs have numerous benefits, they show the hazardous conditions as they existed at the time of the injury, they are easy to take, they are easily saved and transmitted, they are invaluable tools to refresh the memory of helpful witnesses and contradict the recollection of hostile witnesses. I believe that under new restrictions on cell phone use by railroad employees, the phone should be at least 35 feet from the track at the time of its use.

Of course the benefit of accident scene photographs can also be realized in any factually intensive litigation. Photographs of the positions of vehicles immediately after a wreck are important tools to demonstrate the location and extent of property damage as well as the post-accident location of the vehicles.

If you are involved in any situation which will involve the description of events in the future, remember the easily accessible tool many people carry with them, the cell phone camera and snap a few photographs. The photographs may be immensely beneficial to you or someone else in the future.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY, who handle car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more.

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