Personal injury lawsuits are complex and difficult to predict. The burden of proving negligence and establishing the breach of duty of care owed rests on the plaintiff. You need strong evidence to prove liability if the case goes to trial. The success of your lawsuit lies on how well you gather and present possible proof. This is where the skill and experience of your personal injury attorney will make all the difference between winning and losing.
Types of Evidence in Personal Injury Lawsuits
There are two broad types of evidence – physical and non-physical. Physical evidence is tangible evidence which can be physically seen and understood by the jury. It is particularly impactful since the jury can see and observe what happened. There are various forms in which physical evidence can manifest itself. For instance, photographs are categorized as physical evidence.
Non-physical evidence is presented as testimony or information for the jury. This information is intended to help the jury draw conclusions. In most personal injury cases, non-physical evidence forms the bulk of the case. Examples include testimony, medical bills, and depositions among others.
Most lawyers would ask you to call the police to the accident site, especially if it is a car accident. The officer will likely make a police report that documents the accident scene and your injuries. This report provides the officer’s assessment of the facts and statements concerning the accident and may prove important to establish liability. You can ask your attorney to request for a copy of the police report.
Medical records are documentations of your injury. These records can be used as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit:
· Doctor’s notes regarding the diagnosis and treatment
· Surgical reports
· MRI results
· X-ray results
· Psychologist records about emotional and mental effects of the accidents
· Discharge instructions
· Photographs of injuries taken for medical purposes
· List of appointment dates
Make sure you save all receipts since they establish the cost of the treatment received. This will also help you determine the actual value of the medical expenses. You may want to keep a copy of your medical records from before the accident handy. This will help in refuting any claims made by the insurance company that the injury is related to a prior medical condition.
Photographs and Videos
Pictures and videos help establish fault of the responsible party. You should try and take as many photographs as you can before the accident scene is altered. You should have someone else take the photographs of the injuries and accident scene if you are unable to.
Make sure you take pictures of property damage too. This will be useful in establishing the extent of losses suffered in property damage. Photographs can also help in showing how the accident occurred in some cases. Don’t forget to document your injuries as they develop. Pictures are more valuable than descriptions written in a medical report.
Employees of local businesses, customers and bystanders are generally present at most accident scenes. Their statements can be valuable for the success of your claim since they recount the events in an objective fashion.
Additionally, eyewitnesses may see things that you did not which can help in providing a clearer picture of how the accident took place. Make sure to collect contact information of the eyewitnesses for future reference. Your attorney may speak with them to gather more evidence.
Expert testimonies are different from eyewitness statements since they are not present at the accident scene. However, experts can lend more validity to a claim. Expert witnesses have the qualifications that lend their statements more credibility and weight. Often, personal injury claims include information which is difficult for the jury and general public to understand.
Such ambiguities can come in the way of you being awarded a fair compensation. Expert witnesses ensure that everyone understands the information related to the case fully. This allows the jury to analyze why certain pieces of information are important and helps them make informed decisions.
Lost Income Documentation
You may be able to recover the income you lost while you were recuperating from the injuries. However, you would require a letter from your employer detailing the following:
· Job title
· Pay rate before the accident
· Whether you were on a salary or paid hourly
· Average work hours in a typical week
· Number of days you missed from work
· Dates of missed work
· Amount of money lost because of missed work days
· Sick days, vacation days and other benefits used
· Total amount in lost wages
Contact a Dedicated Personal Injury Attorney Today
It can be difficult to gather the necessary evidence on your own. This is especially if you are busy recovering from your injuries. You need to have the right legal help if you want the personal injury lawsuit to have a greater likelihood of success. The legal team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp understands the evidence required for preparing a strong case and how to obtain it. Schedule your free case review with our lawyers today. Call us at (833) 997-1774 or contact us online.