If you are considering pursuing a personal injury case, you are likely wondering what types of evidence you will need to win.
The answer, as you might suspect, is that it depends. Largely, it depends on the type of accident that led to your injury, which will determine the laws surrounding your case and the types of evidence that are readily available that can prove another party’s negligence and your right to compensation.
That said, there are certain types of evidence that apply to all personal injury claims, which we are going to take a closer look at below. Gathering and keeping key pieces of evidence can make or break a personal injury case, and we hope this helps give a better understanding of how to go about doing so.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your specific situation, please get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Boller & Vaughan today for a FREE evaluation.
While police reports typically cannot be admitted as evidence in court, they still play an important part in your claim. First and foremost, they serve as the primary document for what took place when insurance companies are evaluating a claim. Accident reports may also include material that could be admitted as evidence, such as photographs.
This is why it is so important to make sure the police are called to the scene of any serious motor vehicle accident and create a report documenting their findings. You should also seek to obtain a copy of this report as soon as it is available.
Our memories are not foolproof. We forget things and sometimes we misremember events completely, meaning your account of what happened – even if it is accurate – is not as reliable as documented evidence.
As such, photographs and videos of an accident – such as dashcam footage of a truck accident – can be extremely useful, although images and videos taken after an accident can also be valuable. A photograph may, for example, show a skid mark that was later washed away, proving that another driver waited too late to brake before colliding with you.
When receiving medical treatment from a hospital, it is easy to assume that all of your information will be accurately documented and astutely organized. Unfortunately, this is not always true, which is why you should always keep every medical record you receive after being injured in an accident.
After all, if you are unable to prove the extent of your injuries and the treatment required to heal them, your case may be over before it begins.
As with medical records, medical bills are important documents that not only reinforce the treatment you received but, crucially, the cost of that treatment. These costs will likely make up a significant portion of the damages you are seeking compensation for, meaning you need to be able to prove their worth through full and consistent documentation.
Beyond the cost of your medical bills, you may also have incurred costs related to property damage, lost income, in-home assistance, and more. Keeping a record of all of the costs associated with the accident – even if you are unsure you will recover compensation for them – is very important to building the strongest case possible.
When communicating with your insurance company or another party’s insurance company, you should always keep copies of any documents you receive from them or send to them. While it may feel reasonable to assume that these documents will be easily retrieved at a later date, that may not be the case. Further, even if you are able to find a document later on, it may unnecessarily slow down your attorney’s preparation, which could ultimately hurt your case.
Eyewitness testimony of an accident can be a powerful piece of evidence. After all, while a neutral observer’s memory may also be fallible, they have no reason to side with you over someone else – meaning their word will likely be perceived as more trustworthy.
While your attorney may be able to gather witness statements after the fact, if you are able to collect the information of anyone near the accident after it occurred, it could be very helpful for your case.
Unlike eyewitnesses, expert witnesses are not used because they saw your accident take place – instead, they are asked to provide testimony about a subject they know well. For example, a medical expert could testify about the long-term effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or a building inspector could testify about the integrity of a broken piece of wood that led to a fall. In criminal cases, handwriting experts are sometimes called to testify about a piece of written material.
Regardless of the type of expert, their witness can be a critical piece of evidence, especially if your case goes to trial.
Handling a personal injury case is a difficult, stressful situation for anyone. Making sure you are collecting key pieces of evidence, on top of getting better and dealing with the myriad other problems that can come along with your case, is no small task.
At Boller & Vaughan, we are here to help. We will fight for your right to compensation for the damages you have sustained whether that is negotiating a settlement offer with an insurance company or representing you in a court of law.
For a free case evaluation, please get in touch with our Madison personal injury attorneys today at (608) 268-0268.
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We live in Friendship, Wisconsin, and Boller & Vaughan came to our doorstep to discuss our mother’s wrongful death claim on a Saturday morning. Not only were we pleased with the large recovery, we were so thankful to have lawyers who were willing to explain to us every twist and turn along the way. It is great to know there is a law firm that will fight for the rights of elderly people all over Wisconsin.
Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan were incredible in working on my case and my daughter’s case. I was out of work and in the hospital with a new baby. Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan protected our rights and it was a pleasure to work with them. I hope never to be in another motor vehicle accident, however, if I am and I am injured, I will contact Boller & Vaughan immediately.
I was referred to Michelle through a friend. I have never had a better experience. It took a little over a year to get my settlement but the staff there stayed in constant contact and kept me in the loop. Oh, and Michelle actually got me MORE money than we discussed. I will refer anyone to this firm. Words cannot do justice the thanks that I have for Michelle and her staff (Mary especially) thank you guys so much!
After my husband died as a result of a motor vehicle accident, Boller & Vaughan spent countless hours talking with me, meeting with me in person, and making sure that I was okay. The drunk driver who hit us did not have any insurance, and we had to make a claim through our own insurance. Boller & Vaughan was fantastic at explaining the law to me and the handling of our claims.
After my son was injured in a daycare setting, Ms. Vaughan took the time to thoroughly investigate our case and my son’s injuries. Michele was approachable and had answers to our questions. Talking with her helped to relieve many of our anxieties.