Your ability to recover full compensation for a personal injury depends, in part, on the evidence in your favor. Many people make the mistake of overlooking crucial pieces of evidence, thereby lowering the value of their claims. When you submit a personal injury claim in Cameron, TX or Buffalo, TX, your lawyer is the best resource for information on how to build arguments that are credible. Here are some examples of evidence that could work in your favor:
7 Pieces of Evidence That Will Strengthen Your Personal Injury Claim
1. Medical Records
For many people, the bulk of a personal injury settlement comes from the value of the compensatory damages that are intended to offset medical expenses. The term compensatory damages refers to the amount of money the liable party must pay you in order to compensate for your losses. Your medical records can help show the insurance company and/or the court the amount of money required to treat your injuries.
In a personal injury case, you are also allowed to receive compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident. In general, more serious injuries are awarded a greater amount of money to cover these types of damages. Beyond just listing the cost of your treatments, your medical records can illustrate the severity of your injuries.
When you request your medical records, you should be sure to collect documentation of:
- Your visit to the ER, including a ride in the ambulance, if applicable
- Diagnostic tests like X-rays, bloodwork, and urine samples
- Any notes from the medical professionals who attended to your injuries
- Any treatments you received at the hospital
- Follow-up appointments with your doctor and/or specialists
- Ongoing treatments
- Medications you were prescribed
- The cost of transportation to and from the medical facilities
2. Photos and Videos That You Took
In order to file a personal injury claim successfully, you must be able to show that another party who owed you a duty of care acted negligently. The term, “duty of care” refers to reasonable measures people take to insure each other’s safety. Providing photos and/or videos of the accident you experienced can go a long way toward helping you prove that another party was at fault.
In the case of a car accident, a photograph showing damage to the back of your car might indicate that you were rear-ended. If you experienced a premises liability accident, a video could show that the owner of the property failed to uphold reasonable safety standards. These are just two examples of how photographic evidence can help your lawyer tell your story. If possible, you should always record the aftermath of an accident before leaving the scene.
3. Other Photos and Videos
In addition to your own photos, you can present evidence captured by others. If any bystanders witnessed your accident, they may have recorded it. If the accident occurred in an area that was being monitored with surveillance cameras, your lawyer may be able to help you secure the footage.
4. Witness Testimonies
Along with providing footage, witnesses can sometimes testify on your behalf. Their version of the story could help add strength to yours, especially if their recollection of the details corresponds to your official statements. Before you leave the scene of the accident, be sure to ask any bystanders for their contact information.
5. The Police Report
Especially in the case of a car accident, the police report can help add validity to your claim. It is important to contact the police immediately after an accident occurs, and doing so will create an official record of the incident including details about where it occurred, what time of day it happened, and who was involved. In Texas, you are required to report accidents that incur fatalities, serious injuries, and/or a significant amount of property damage.
6. Your Financial Records
If you had to take time off work to recover from your injuries, there is a very strong chance that you will be eligible to claim lost wages. Lost wages are determined according to your normal income. Providing documentation of your pay rate and benefit plans can help indicate how much income you lost as a result of the accident.
In the case of a salaried or hourly position, you will need to provide evidence of your rate of compensation and the amount of time you took off. If you are self-employed, you may need to show previous tax returns and accounting records to establish your normal income. If you did not take jobs that were in your pipeline due to your injuries, the correspondence between you and your potential clients could show how much work you lost.
7. Expert Witness Testimonies
Complex personal injury cases sometimes require the testimony of an expert witness. An expert witness is a professional whose area of expertise is relevant to the case. If your claim involves medical malpractice, you will be required to have a doctor other than the one who injured you provide expert testimony on your behalf. If you need to claim future lost wages, accountants and economists can act as expert witnesses to determine the lifelong cost of your injuries.
How to Build a Strong Strategy With Evidence
Your arguments will only be as strong as your evidence, so it is important not to overlook any pieces that could be valuable. Your lawyer can help identify sources of evidence based on the specifics of your case. He or she will provide information on how to request documents that might not already be in your possession, such as your medical records and the police report.
In a legal context, evidence must be presented and witnesses must be interviewed according to strict protocols. Working with an experienced lawyer can help ensure that the court does not reject a piece of evidence that is crucial to your case, invalidating your most important arguments.
Talk With a Lawyer About Your Personal Injury Claim
Some accidents generate a wealth of evidence in the claimant’s favor while others require a little more digging. If you suffered severe injuries that were costly to treat, or if you believe you have incurred a lifelong disability, you will want to present strong evidence in order to win a settlement that will cover these significant losses.
In general, the more valuable the claim, the more likely the other side is to present counterarguments. Presenting a well-documented case can go a long way toward strengthening your position against the defense. Speaking with a lawyer is a good way to identify the aspects of your accident that will work in your favor and the potential weak spots in your case. Once you have gone over the details together, you can begin to formulate a winning strategy.
Find Legal Representation in Cameron, TX or Buffalo, TX
The right lawyer for your case is someone who can work with the available evidence to prove your right to receive compensation for your losses. We have a strong record of representing clients in Cameron, TX and Buffalo, TX, and we are highly experienced in all aspects of personal injury law, including claim submission, negotiation, and litigation. To discuss your case with us, contact Brian Gutierrez, Personal Injury Trial Lawyer.