No one goes about their day expecting to be an accident victim, but it’s a reality everyone faces as they take care of their needs. All it takes is for someone to make a bad decision, encounter a hazardous condition, a poorly maintained entryway, and similar situations to cause you serious injury. You can gain compensation for your injuries, but you need convincing legal testimony to prove your case, along with evidence to back up your story. The evidence you collect also helps your lawyer present a solid case on your behalf and improve the odds of you receiving fair and just compensation for your injuries. Here’s a look at the types of evidence that supports your personal injury claim.
Your Version of the Accident
Write down or record your recollection of the events of the accident as soon as you’re able to do so. Include as much detail as you can, even if something seems insignificant. You want to do this as soon as possible because you’re more likely to recall vital details that can help your attorney. The narrative you create is also helpful in jogging your memory when you read it at a later time, helping you stay as true to your version of events as possible.
Your narrative helps your attorney understand the sequence of events and match up the physical evidence to your statement. It also supports the other types of evidence that is used for your personal injury case.
Police and/or Accident Report
A police report is an excellent piece of evidence to have, as it’s hard to impeach an officer’s statements. Police officers are trained to report facts and reconstruct the events of an accident to the best of their ability. They usually write both a police report and an accident report and give everyone involved a copy. This can be used to support your recall of the accident and what happened prior to the collision.
In the event that the police did not respond or the report isn’t sufficient, an accident report from an accident reconstruction expert can also help. The expert is trained to look at the results of the impact, the evidence at the scene, and the events that led to and caused the collision. This information is also difficult to refute.
Witness statements bolster your recollection of the events, but reliability is an issue as you’re asking people to remember a traumatic event. Their memories may not be completely accurate, details can be missed, and they may have forgotten about a critical moment. However, witnesses don’t change their stories to suit a narrative, and their statements can be helpful.
Pictures or Videos of the Accident
Videos and pictures provide the most accurate evidence of an accident. They record what they see and don’t suffer from memory loss or partial recollection. All moments of the accident are recorded in still or moving images, allowing all involved to see what happened during the accident. This type of evidence is very difficult to refute due to the fact that modern video and still cameras feature high-resolution images, making it easy to zoom in and out of each frame to see what happened.
The information that’s recorded by a camera can be used to back up your recall of the accident. There can also be an additional benefit in the form of a previously unseen element that contributed to the accident. Image and video sources include dash cams, security cameras, motion-detecting cameras that take pictures, and doorbell cameras. In the event the accident was caught on camera by a business or a private individual, you need to act quickly to preserve the video files. Your personal injury lawyer can also help with obtaining video and picture files.
You can also go to the site of the accident and take your own pictures to illustrate your narrative of the event. Make sure to take pictures from as many angles as possible and be sure to photograph any evidence that’s left behind from the accident, such as tire tracks or broken equipment.
Physical evidence is anything that can be shown to be a contributing factor to the accident. This can be anything from the location of impact on a vehicle to failed safety equipment. The purpose of physical evidence is to demonstrate that the injured person didn’t contribute in any significant way to the accident and the injuries they sustained. For example, a harness that has a failure point that resulted from unseen wear and tear shows that the fault lies with the manufacturer, not the injured party.
You or a trusted party needs to collect and preserve evidence as quickly as possible after the accident. Physical evidence has a tendency to deteriorate over time, or an object that played a role in the incident may be repaired. When an object is immovable, get pictures or videos taken in order to show how the object failed or otherwise contributed to the accident.
Getting injured in an accident usually requires medical care to one degree or another. They document the fact that injuries were sustained, how they were received, and a prognosis for recovery. The records are difficult to argue against as the attending physician doesn’t have an agenda to overstate the cause of the injuries.
Collect and preserve all medical paperwork related to your injury, even if it seems insignificant. Sometimes it happens that something that seems minor turns out to play a major role in building your case. If you don’t receive all of your medical paperwork, you can request copies of your file from the medical provider. They can’t ignore or turn down your request as they are your personal medical records, and you have a right to them.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Use Your Evidence for a Personal Injury Case
Factual evidence supports your side of the story and increases the potential that you’ll receive compensation that’s in line with your injuries and losses. At Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana, PC, our personal injury lawyers can take your evidence and use it during the development of your case. We also bring in a group of experts, investigators, and legal staff to support your evidence, ultimately creating a personal injury case that’s difficult for the defense to disprove.
We have offices in Foley, Mobile, and Daphne, AL, for your convenience. Call us today to talk to one of our attorneys and learn more about how we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.