Were you recently in an accident that wasn’t your fault? You’re entitled to pursue a personal injury claim to get the financial compensation you deserve. Proving your innocence and legal rights to compensation depends on two things: a competent personal injury attorney and convincing evidence. While every accident and personal injury case is different, and evidence might come from unexpected places, there are five main types of evidence generally used in personal injury cases.
Physical evidence refers to any tangible object the courtroom may observe, such as clothing, equipment, tools, vehicles, and more, according to HG.org Legal Resources. This type of evidence is often used in more straightforward cases – such as a hit and run accident – to determine who was at fault and what caused the injuries.
Often, injuries result from “on-site” factors such as weather, other vehicles on the road, defect parts, debris, items on the ground, a slippery floor, and so on. This type of evidence is often part of the accident location itself, or were left at the scene of the accident. Evidence like this may exist in skid marks, broken glass from a window, or even the weather reports from the time of the accident. AllLaw suggests that physical evidence could come from a worn or broken stair that caused a fall, the dent in a car showing where it was hit, or an overhanging branch that blocked visibility on a bike path. Photo documentation of scene or accident evidence is important to explain your case to the court. AllLaw recommends that any physical evidence you have be preserved exactly as it was at the time of the accident.
Perhaps the most common type of evidence in personal injury cases exists in paper documents. Injuries leave trails in medical records, prescriptions, doctor’s notes, medical test results, insurance forms, medical bills, incident reports, repair receipts, pay stubs that reflect a loss of wages, police reports, and more.
Testimonies from witnesses are a strong way to help build your case in the courtroom. Witnesses can be observers at the scene, other victims of the accident, coworkers who know why you missed work, or family and friends who can describe your accident and injuries. Statements from these witnesses combined with an attorney’s help can be used to convince judges that you were not at fault. Some witness statements will be given in person, others will be on paper, or in a recording.
Media such as photo and video documentation that exists at the scene of the personal injury incident is often one of the best ways to strengthen your case. Evidence of your innocence often exists in street cameras, dash cams, video surveillance equipment, or even personal videos and photos taken by yourself or witnesses to the accident. The individual may demonstrate to the court that the defendant is responsible for the injuries. If your accident happened at work or at a business, remember that the company or building may have security cameras that record and store the media as files in a computer or on a backup device. This kind of evidence can be difficult to gain legal access to without help from an attorney.
Effectively Preserving Evidence
Evidence isn’t much help if it’s not preserved properly! Once you have gathered the evidence necessary for your case, you might need to take certain steps to properly preserve it. Photos and video may require a backup such as a jump or flash drive. Physical evidence may need to remain in a location away from tampering. If you know of witnesses you can use, you’ll want to get an attorney’s help in gathering their statements quickly, when their memories are still fresh. You might also need to go to extra measures to document and save evidence such as receipts, medical bills, doctor’s notes, and more.
Getting Help in Your Legal Case
Personal injury cases are all about getting justice by proving that you were not at fault for your accident and then getting the financial compensation you deserve. It’s important to remember that while plenty of evidence might exist for your case, effectively gathering and presenting it is not as straightforward as it may seem. A personal injury attorney can help you gather and gain access to the evidence needed for your case, present it convincingly to the court, and even uncover additional sources of evidence that you might not have thought of. The Heilman Law Group is here to help. Contact us online or at 601-914-1025.
Heilman Law Group, PA
4266 I-55 North, Suite 106
Jackson, Mississippi 39211