Proving a personal injury claim involving injuries from auto accident, requires better evidence to support your case than what the other side has to discredit your case. The right kind of evidence is crucial to your success. You'll need evidence to support your claim of negligence by the other party. You’ll need compelling evidence of the nature and extent of your injuries. You’ll need to prove that those injuries arose out of the accident itself. Then you will need evidence to disprove any defense which will be used to attack your case.
Gathering Evidence at the Scene of the Accident
The process of gathering evidence for a successful personal injury claim begins at the scene of the accident. If you are able to do so, there are several types of evidence you can collect on your own which will be invaluable later on. You can use your cell phone or a camera to collect photos or video that can show the scene of the collision verify the circumstance of the accident. This includes:
- The scene of the accident
- Vehicle damage
- Your injuries
- Your witnesses
You should also write down your own timeline of the events surrounding the accident, with as much detail as you can remember. Over time, it's natural for our memories to start to fade. Writing down everything immediately ensures you won't forget any vital information.
If applicable, jot down the names and contact information for any witnesses who can support your version of the events. You might even want to see if you can record a statement from any witnesses.
Verifying Your Accident-Related Expenses
Economic compensation in personal injury cases is based on the actual expenses incurred or the losses which will be incurred as the result of the accident. Your expenses should be documented with:
- Copies of hospital bills
- Receipts for medication, assistive equipment such as walkers or canes, and any special foods you needed during your recovery
- Recipes for travel expenses related to medical appointments, including gas and parking
- Pay stubs showing lost earnings
- Insurance payments for those expenses are also necessary
Pain and suffering is considered a category of non-economic damages. Typically, this type of compensation is much more difficult to calculate and occasionally linked to your medical expenses, but is also based on the severity of your injuries. Many times, general damages and the economic expenses have no correlation at all. Serious injuries may not result in a lot of medical expenses but can result in significant non-economic damages.
Obtaining Additional Records
Additional records which may be necessary all depend on the issues raised in your collision case. Some records can be extracted from a car’s “black box” or vehicle data recorder. If a law enforcement report was prepared, a copy will be necessary to help understand the information used to assess liability, including securing information which might not otherwise be available without the officer’s investigation. Further, documentation from public resources and from industry information may be necessary to establish specific facts to support the theory of liability. Your attorney will search out and secure the appropriate documentation and records.
Expert witnesses also provide evidence and lend credibility and authority to the case. Their testimony can be used to support a number of different aspects associated with a personal injury claim. Common expert witnesses used in personal injury cases include:
- Accident Reconstruction Expert: An accident reconstruction expert uses factors such as type of vehicle damage, size and weight of vehicles involved, and road conditions to determine a timeline of events for the accident.
- Human Factors Expert: A human factors expert establishes the difference between negligence and simple human error, testifying as to what a driver should have perceived in regards to vision angles, lighting, and weather conditions at the time of the accident.
- Medical Expert: Doctors who specialize in treating your specific condition can be called upon to testify as to the cause of your injuries and your future need for medical treatment. They may also be asked to testify as to your pain and suffering.
- Product Liability Expert: When a case involves vehicle defects such as faulty brakes, manufacturers, engineers, or design specialists can testify as product liability experts.
- Economic Loss Expert: If you have been unable to return to work, are working reduced hours, or are currently employed in a lower paying occupation, an economic loss expert will testify as to how the accident reduced your overall earning potential.
- Vocational Expert: If you'll need to enter a different career field due to your injuries, a vocational expert can testify as to what type of positions you might be able to obtain given your health, education, training resources, and the local job market.
- Life Care Planning Expert: Life care planning experts focus on what an injured person's future needs might be in regard to permanently disabling car accident injuries.
Personal injury attorneys maintain extensive databases of contacts with the education and professional experience necessary to serve as qualified expert witnesses. Your attorney will suggest witnesses who are best suited to testify based on the specific circumstances of your case.
Inland Empire Law Group Can Help
The legal team at Inland Empire Law group is dedicated to helping California residents who've been injured in accidents caused by another's negligence receive the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Please call today to schedule a case review at our Victorville or Rancho Cucamonga locations. Call now to start the process of recovery from your personal injury claim. 909-481-0100.