Six Tips for Collecting Evidence for a Personal Injury Claim
When it comes to proving personal injury claims, evidence is everything. Since your goal is to create an indisputably persuasive presentation of key facts, the ways you collect and categorize your evidence now will matter greatly later. Here are some helpful tips that will help lend credibility to your evidence so that you may obtain an adequate amount of reimbursement either through a settlement or by a decision in court.
Photographic evidence is a great way to get a claims adjuster to take your personal injury claim seriously. Be sure to take pictures of any damage to your body and any damage to your clothes. The photos should also include the scene of the accident and whatever caused your injury to happen.
While you can never take too many photos, there are still a few key strategies to consider to make sure the photos will be admissible in court:
- Be sure the subject matter is in focus and at a distance that will not obscure any details.
- Make sure that your camera has time-stamped the photo with the correct day, month, and year.
- Be sure the pictures are taken as soon as you are out of danger. The longer you wait to take pictures, the less likely they will accurately reflect the events as they transpired.
Review Medical Records
Any physician or medical facility that treated your injuries may have relevant medical records that can help prove your condition. These documents can be as simple as an emergency room attendance chart to something more complex such as a professional diagnoses, test results, or doctor recommendations for recovery time andtreatment plans.
Obtain a Police Report
If your injury required law enforcement to respond, they will have on file a written account of the events as they were reported. This report may contain evidence that proves you were not at fault, or that the defendant is. If you don’t already have a police report, the precinct of the county that your accident took place in can provide a copy.
Get Witness Statements
Witnesses are invaluable in court. An independent third-party witness can verify your version of the events while providing insight of their own. Since an independent third-party witness has no reason to lie, their testimony is taken very seriously.
After your accident, be sure to get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident in the immediate vicinity. If time permits, have them write down and sign what they saw. By getting it in writing, the witness’ testimony is fresh, and the memory of the events have not faded.
The Importance of Work Records
Your place of employment will most likely have information that may help you prove any income that you have lost due to missed work. Using business stationary, have your manager provide copies of any days you missed working due to the accident, the exact number of hours of work you missed, your rate of pay, your job title, and your name.
Consider Possible Circumstantial Evidence
Try to get creative in your search for evidence; the object is usually to prove the other party was negligent in their behavior or actions. For example, if you suspect the other driver was using the phone in an accident, you may be able to subpoena the other party for their phone records to show fault. If it was a slip and fall at a place of business, then maybe old advertisements will show that the conditions which caused your fall have existed for a long time without correction.