Technology is always advancing, and smart attorneys learn and use new technology to the advantage of their clients. 25 years ago, attorneys handling traffic collision cases had a large collection of printed local maps to help identify the county where a collision occurred, where another party resided, or the likely route someone would be taking to get to their destination.

How Google Maps Can Help a Personal Injury Case

Things changed radically with the advent of commercial services on the internet, and tools such as MapQuest and Yahoo Maps became early favorites of attorneys needing to conduct research on local roadways. Fast forward again, and Google Maps reigns supreme as an amazing free tool, both as a general map service and even more so with its excellent Street View, offering 360-degree movable photos of the actual roadway at issue in a case.

We routinely rely on Google Maps Street View to take a detailed look at roads and intersections. How many lanes are there on a stretch of roadway? Are there speed limit signs? Where are the traffic signals positioned? Can vehicles turn right on red at a certain location? Most of these questions can now be quickly answered by the attorney without ever leaving the office.

Drone Images Can Help a Personal Injury Attorney

But what about instances where Google Maps does NOT provide all the answers? Some cases concern traffic flow through an area, detailed pavement markings, recent changes to an intersection that have not been documented by Google, and the most pressing of all, specific evidence from the crash that could disappear if not documented promptly.

A drone can fill the void left by Google. First, the resolution available from a drone is far superior to that offered by standard online services. If the specific layout and/or measurements of an intersection are at issue in a case, then drone photography is the best way to go. Compare the three photos below – The first is the best image available from Google Maps, the second from Google Earth, and the third from a drone positioned over the same intersection. The difference in resolution is obvious and can reveal an important detail about the intersection or roadway at issue in a case.

An aerial view of a streetDescription automatically generated with low confidenceAn aerial view of a street intersectionDescription automatically generated with low confidence