The use of photographs of the time of trial. What about the lack of photographs at the time of the trial?

Abdurraheem v. Koch. Atlantic County Law Division  L-2160-16.

Approved for publication October 23, 2018

Submitted by New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

In this case the court created a modified jury charge outlining the contradictory testimony regarding damage to a vehicle. The interesting part of this case is the fact that there are no photographs of the bed was being introduced to the jury at the time of trial. Why? This accident took place in or about 2014 or  2015. Everyone has phones in their car and with them. Yet in this case no photographs were introduced at the time of trial. Arguably that was because there was no good or juicy photographs of significant damage to the vehicle that would equally in the juries mines too good or juicy injuries. However given the fact that there was contradictory testimony regarding the damages to the vehicle the judge modifying the “Brennan” photographic evidence jury charge to address different testimonies from different parties concerning the nature and extent of the actual damage at the scene even with our photographed.

The trial judge found it appropriate to instruct the jury on how to evaluate the different testimonial evidence in the absence of actual photographs.  The larger question is in this day and age of cell phones everywhere is, why were there no photographs of the vehicles being introduced at the time of trial.  Obviously plaintiffs involved in  car crashes will always pull out their phone and take pictures in this day and age. In addition when insurance companies make property damage payments they always have photographs of the vehicles at the impound lot or auto repair facilities. In other words, there are always, always, photographs available for the vehicle is in question. In this case did neither party want to introduce them because they showed too much damage or not enough damage? That is the bigger question in this case.

I also think his case will be reversed on appeal because there is no need for the trial judge to instruct the jury is on the way to handle different testimonial evidence under the modified photographic jury charge here. It is duplicative instruction from other jury charges on weighing the evidence and is merely redundant.  However on the other hand, the Appellate Division may find that this is not an abuse of discretion and,  given the specific facts and circumstances of this case,  the may find the trial judge did not abuse his discretion.

Jeffrey S. Hark, Esq.
609-471-1959. Cell
856-354-0050 Office

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Criminal Civil Lawyer

Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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