On May 30, 2007, the New Jersey Supreme Court, reversing its Appellate Division,
opened the door to the admissibility of photographs that depict minor vehicle physical damage as a factor to establish that claimed serious injuries were not caused by the accident or that their severity was questionable.
In Brenman v. Demello, the trial judge admitted a photograph of minor motor
vehicle physical damage without an expert testifying that the minor impact could not have caused the claimed injuries. The Appellate Division reversed the trial judge, indicating that such expert testimony linking the vehicle damage to the plaintiff’s injuries was required. Now, the Supreme Court has reversed the Appellate Division, ruling that such expert testimony is not required.
However, the proponent of such a photograph, devoid of expert testimony,
still must meet certain evidential requirements.