After being involved in an accident, you may make an insurance claim or file a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your damages. Regardless of the type of claim you make, you will need evidence to substantiate your claim and prove that the other party was negligent. Specifically, you will need to prove the following four elements:
- The defendant (the liable party) owed you (the plaintiff) a duty of care to act reasonably and with your safety in mind.
- The defendant breached their duty of care.
- The breach by the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injury and damages.
- The plaintiff has been harmed.
What Evidence Can Be Used in a Personal Injury Claim?
To satisfy the burden of proof, you and your attorney should collect evidence that helps establish liability and prove the four elements of personal injury cases (and negligence). Common and helpful types of evidence that can be used to strengthen your case include:
- Accident reports. If you completed an accident report at a business or called the police, you can request a copy of the report. The report itself and the information it contains can be very helpful for your case. Incident and police reports should include a description of the event, witness names and statements, and other helpful information concerning the accident.
- Expert witness testimonies. To prove that the defendant breached their duty of care and acted in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t have, you can retain experts to be witnesses. For instance, an accident reconstructionist can help recreate the scene and causation of the accident. A forensic accountant can also be retained to prove that our income and earning potential have decreased.
- Insurance documents. If you are filing a claim with your insurer, you should have a copy of your policy information.
- Medical bills and financial documents. To calculate your economic damages and prove that you have damages, your medical bills and financial records can help showcase the wages you’ve lost as well as the bills you’ve incurred. Important documents you should ensure you have are: W2s, paystubs, bank statements, hospital and rehabilitation bills, and receipts for transportation, at-home care, and medical equipment expenses.
- Medical reports. To prove that you suffered injuries, you can submit your medical records that outline your injuries, treatment, and physician’s notes concerning your care.
- Photographs and videos. Visuals of the scene of the accident, your injuries, and the damages can be used as evidence to showcase the extent of the injuries as well as paint a picture of what caused the accident. For instance, in a slip and fall claim where a plaintiff says they slipped on a patch of ice, photos can be especially valuable as ice can melt and the scene/circumstances of the accident can change. If possible, you should take pictures and/or videos after the accident. However, if you are incapacitated or severely injured, your attorney can subpoena and work to obtain video surveillance and photographs from witnesses, surrounding buildings/businesses, or other sources.
- Physical evidence. You should also submit any physical evidence from the accident, such as the clothing and shoes you wore on the day of the accident, data concerning the weather, the damaged property or items from the accident, etc.
- Witness statements. While eyewitness information may be included in the accident or police report, you can also ask the witnesses to speak in court to share what they saw and know concerning the accident. To establish that the defendant has a history of reckless and negligent behavior, you can also have other people act as witnesses to make statements and speak to their character or behavior.
Consult with Our Firm
Eliot Reiner, APLC handles a wide variety of personal injury cases, including:
- Truck accidents
- Product liability cases
- Premises liability cases
- Construction accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Catastrophic injury cases
- Car accidents
- Boating accidents
- Bicycle accidents
If you or a loved one suffer damages in a negligence-based accident, our attorney can help you develop a personalized legal strategy. Once you retain our firm, we can get to work on collecting evidence and handling other case legalities. We have dedicated our practice to personal injury law and are committed to helping accident victims/survivors fight for their right to fair compensation. Whether you are pursuing a claim with an insurer or filing a lawsuit, our team is here to help.
With over three decades of legal experience, Eliot Reiner, APLC provides aggressive legal counsel. To schedule a case consultation, call (916) 778-3228 or reach out online today.