Evidence is a term that many people have heard of. If you have seen any kind of courtroom drama, evidence produces a dramatic effect.
But what is evidence? Are there different kinds? How does it work within the confines of your case? Most importantly, if you are involved in a personal injury case, what kind of evidence do you need? Read on to find out more.
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Evidence is something legally submitted to the courts to ascertain the truth of a matter. There are many things that qualify as evidence. Depending on your case, there are many things that won’t be allowed in as evidence.
If you have been injured, there is paperwork that is important for you to keep and submit for your case. This will help build your case. The stronger your case, the easier it is to prove that you are owed compensation for your injury.
Evidence collection starts the moment the incident occurs. It is important to remember to keep track of what you need for your case, including the following:
If you get into a car accident, police should always be called to the scene. They will fill out an accident report for their records. If anything else happens and you get injured, a police report can be filed. That should be kept for your records and submitted as evidence.
The accident or police report is an official statement about what happened. Police take the account of both parties, observe the scene, and take statements from available witnesses. If the police do not get witness statements, see if you can. Sometimes, people are not able to wait around for the police when they witness an accident. If this is the case, try and collect the witness’ information so that they can give a statement at a later time.
The police give you a file number so you can request the report at a later time.
The saying that goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” has some truth behind it. Photos are an excellent way to showcase and prove the extent of your injuries. Photographing what happened in the accident, the damage, and your injuries can help later on. Doctors might take X-rays or other types of tests, but photograph everything that you can related to the accident.
Medical records are the most important evidentiary aspect of any personal injury case. You don’t need to keep all of your medical records with you, but keep track of the doctors and hospitals that you visit. Medical records include any kind of emergency visit as well.
In addition to the medical records themselves, the receipts and bills are important. Keeping track of everything you had to pay for – whether it is medication, treatment, or co-pays – will give you proof of your economic damages.
Your employment records are used in a different way than the aforementioned categories. Those are used to prove your claim. Employment records show the wages that you are losing due to your injury.
If you miss wages because of your inability to work, keep a record to add to your claim. Any doctor’s notes that illustrate that you are unable to return to work would go into your file as well.
Journaling might seem like an odd thing to do, but it can help your case immensely. Medical records are able to illustrate your injury in medical terms. It cannot illustrate the pain and suffering that you are going through.
Keeping a record of what you are going through every day helps your claim. It can serve as proof of your non-economic damages. Journaling keeps it fresh in your memory and clearly described in real-time.
Your insurance company might be involved in this case. If so, be sure your attorney has a copy of your insurance policy.
Evidence helps not only confirm your claim but get the full compensation you deserve. When it comes to damages, they usually include medical expenses to treat injuries or the cost to replace or fix the damaged property. They can include pain and suffering and lost wages.
However, damages can include more than just money directly used to address injuries. Punitive damages – a way to punish the defendant – can even get issued in New York. And evidence helps you get there.
If you are involved in a personal injury case, keep track of all records that you can. If you need help gathering evidence of your claim, contact a personal injury attorney. Your attorney can investigate your case to identify evidence related to your claim.
They can organize the evidence and present it to a court or insurance company as proof of another party’s fault for your injuries. Contact an injury lawyer today for a free consultation. We have offices in Queens and the Bronx.