Connecticut Personal
Injury Attorneys
New Haven, Connecticut | Weber & Rubano Law Firm

Why Is Documenting Evidence Important in a Premises Liability Claim?

May 27, 2024Articles

When an injury occurs, it’s usually sudden, painful, and traumatic. As the victim of a preventable injury on someone else’s property, you may not have the presence of mind to preserve or document evidence at the scene; however, most injury victims begin to consider the implications of the injury when they receive expensive medical treatment and face the financial hardship of income loss. How do you prove the injury occurred due to the property owner or business manager’s negligence for a successful compensation claim for damages? Insurance companies do not happily pay out on large claims, but instead, dispute their policyholder’s liability or attempt to assign a portion of the blame to the victim to reduce the amount they payout on a claim.

By taking purposeful action after an injury, you can preserve important evidence for a successful premises liability claim.

How To Document Evidence at the Scene of an Injury

Property owners have a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent injury to those lawfully on their property, whether they are a delivery person on private property or a customer on commercial property like a store, hotel, or restaurant. Neglecting to promptly address and repair a known hazard such as a floor defect that could cause a slip-and-fall accident, or inadequate hallway lighting that could lead to an assault in a hotel hallway, is negligence, leaving the owner liable for the victim’s damages.

After an injury, keeping a cool head and using a cell phone can document critical evidence for a later claim. If you’re too seriously injured to use the phone, hand it to a companion to use for you and then do the following:


  • First, call 911 to request emergency services or arrange transportation to the hospital straight from the scene depending on the severity of the injury
  • While waiting for transportation to a hospital, take photos of the cause of the injury, such as a wet floor from a leaky water pipe in a store restroom or a broken tile near a hotel pool. Be sure to time-stamp your photos
  • Photograph any visible injuries
  • Add the contact information of eyewitnesses to the injury
  • Ask the business owner to fill out an accident or incident report
  • Request that the property owner keep any security camera footage

Always go directly to the hospital from the site of the injury. This provides evidence that the injury occurred on the property and not elsewhere. Insurance companies sometimes dispute claims if an injury victim goes anywhere other than directly to a hospital. They can claim that the injury may have occurred at the second location; for instance, if you go home first and go to a hospital later or the next day.

Documenting Evidence of Injuries From a Premises Accident

At the hospital, undergo a thorough medical evaluation to ensure you receive treatment for every injury, even those that don’t present symptoms immediately. Some serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and whiplash have delayed symptoms. Ask for a detailed medical report. This ensures that you have documented evidence of each injury and that the injuries occurred in the premises liability incident.

Be sure to follow your doctor’s orders carefully and keep all medical bills and receipts as evidence of your medical expenses. Obtain copies of your latest pay stubs or income tax forms and a statement from your employer about your missed time at work.

Always call a New Haven premises liability lawyer to represent you in your claim. Your attorney will send a spoilation of evidence notice to the property owner to prevent them from destroying or removing evidence such as surveillance camera footage of the incident.