Important Steps to Gathering Evidence for a Personal Injury Case
Lawsuits of all kinds depend on being able to show evidence of your damages and losses. Personal injury lawsuits are no exception. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall accident, or dog attack, you’re going to need to be able to show lots of evidence to support your claim.
Being injured in an accident is extremely overwhelming as it is, but if you’re planning to file a lawsuit, it’s crucial that you remember to take the time to keep good records of everything related to your accident. Having that evidence will help your personal injury lawyer build your case and fight for you to get the compensation you need and deserve. Here are some of the most important types of evidence you can have:
If you’ve been injured in any kind of motor vehicle accident, it’s always a good idea to file a police report. When you report the accident to the police, an officer will come to the scene and record important details such as the time and location, names of witnesses and their comments, and other notes about the scene of the accident. Although police reports are actually inadmissible as evidence in court in many situations, the information they contain can be extremely valuable to your case or even help a lawyer settle a case without going to court.
After an accident, photographs are some of the best evidence you can have. If you think it might be relevant to your accident, take a picture of it. Photograph your injuries, the scene of the accident, or any physical property damage.
When you’ve been injured in an accident, getting medical attention should be your top priority, but if you’re able to take pictures of the scene of the accident immediately after the accident, do so. You can go back to the scene of an accident later, but if the accident was something like a slip and fall accident on private property or by some dangerous condition in the workplace, there’s a chance that someone will try to hide evidence of what caused the accident.
When photographing the scene of an accident, take pictures from lots of different angles. If you’re taking pictures of the scene of a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident, try to go back to the scene at approximately the same time of day the accident occurred to show what the area is normally like at that time of day. If the accident happened on public property, you should have no problem going back to take pictures. But if the accident happened on private property, you might have to get permission to go in and take pictures. If you’re denied permission, talk to your lawyer about what to do next.
Medical records are the best type of evidence for any type of injury. They’ll contain records of exactly what your injuries were, the treatments and medications you were given, and information about your follow-up visits. Under HIPAA, all patients have a legal right to request copies of their medical records.
There are a lot of things that happen after an accident, so it’s easy to lose track of the details. Take notes about anything that directly pertains to your case, such as how you’re feeling each day, how an injury directly impacts your life, who you talk to, what was said, and what steps you’ve taken to take care of yourself. No matter how good you think your memory is, this is one situation where you’ll definitely want to take lots of detailed notes.