Evidence tells your story in a personal injury case. The role of evidence in a personal injury lawsuit with legal counsel is so vital that your case cannot go forward without sufficient supporting evidence.
A civil lawsuit’s evidence can include things that prove how the accident happened, who was at fault, the severity of your injuries, and the cost of your damages. Documenting evidence for legal counsel is one of the best things you can do for your personal injury claim.
Personal injury lawyers use evidence in injury lawsuits to paint a picture for the jury so that they can vicariously “see” things through the eyes of the injured plaintiff.
Evidence Establishes Fault and Liability in Your Personal Injury Case
The jury wasn’t there when you got hurt, so they will have to rely on your lawsuit’s evidence to show them what happened. Let’s work with a scenario of a car accident to understand more. The other driver ran a red light and crashed into your car. You had a green light, so you were legally in the intersection at the time of the collision.
The other driver insists that you were the one who ran a red light. Depending on the facts of your situation, you might use these types of evidence to show your side of the story:
- Witness testimony
- Dashboard camera (dash cam) footage
- Red light camera footage
- Footage from nearby doorbell cameras
- Security camera footage from nearby residential or commercial properties
Your testimony will also serve as evidence. Since your lawyer knows that the other driver will deny liability, these other forms of evidence will help you build a strong case, rather than the jury having to decide who is telling the truth.
Also, the police report might state who caused the accident and through what act of negligence (running the red light). In some cases, accident reconstruction experts can testify about what caused a collision.
Medical Records Show the Severity of Your Condition
Your medical records are strong evidence of the specific injuries you suffered from the accident. These documents might include drawings of the locations, size, and appearance of your injuries. Your medical records can also demonstrate whether any pre-existing conditions were worsened by the crash.
It Also Demonstrates the Medical Treatment Your Required
Again, your medical records will be the best evidence of the treatment you went through for your injuries. You might have to cobble together medical records from several healthcare providers to paint the complete picture for the jury.
Your records could include your files from the emergency room, hospital laboratory, imaging studies facility, surgeon, outpatient surgery center, pharmacy, physical therapy center, medical specialists, and your regular doctor.
Information from Your Healthcare Team Goes a Long Way
Your treating doctors and therapists can assess any ongoing limitations or loss of function that you experience after you complete your treatment. Their expert testimony can be detailed and carry a lot of weight in proving your case.
Documentary Evidence Illustrates the Cost of Your Lost Wages
If you missed paychecks while recuperating from your injuries and undergoing medical treatments, your employer’s payroll records could show the amount of your regular wages or salary. It can also show the amount you got paid when your injuries limited your working capacity or prevented you from working altogether.
It Also Illustrates Your Future Lost Wages
You might have to reduce your working hours or take a lower-paying position because of ongoing impairment that interferes with your ability to perform your job’s role. Your previous payroll records can establish your earnings before the accident. Your current payroll records can show the amount you are now making. Subtracting the current amount from your previous income tells the jury the amount of your future lost wages.
In some cases, it can be helpful to hire a vocational expert who can perform an assessment of your long-term impairments and their impact on your working ability.
Evidence of Your Economic Losses
Receipts, bills, statements, and invoices can establish the dollar amount of your economic losses for your medical care, equipment, supplies, and related items. As previously stated, your employer’s payroll records can prove the amount of your lost income.
Evidence of Your Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic losses can be more of a challenge to measure in dollars than economic losses like medical expenses and lost wages. Intangible losses can include things like pain and suffering, disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and loss of enjoyment of life.
An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to calculate your intangible losses based on the amount of your economic losses and other specific facts of your situation. They will also fight for maximum compensation based on your injuries and other losses.
Call KJT Law Group for Help Building Your Personal Injury Case
You do not want to wait too long to take legal action on your personal injury case. California has a short filing deadline for these cases under CCP § 335.1. Also, it can be difficult to locate evidence with the passage of time.