Evidence can make or break a case. A good attorney knows this; and will most likely ask his client to secure as much proof as possible. Not all evidence is strong – some can weaken the legal proceeding and result in NO claims. That’s why a plaintiff (the person injured) should have his or her own set of documents to prove the defendant (the alleged individual) liable. This is best collected right at the aftermath of the incident, when everything is still fresh and untouched.
A great case is often built on strong evidence. But as mentioned, not everything is considered in court or during settlements. When in doubt, always seek assistance from your lawyer. But usually, evidence used in personal injury claims must be related to:
- some form of duty of the defendant to the plaintiff
(as in the case of patient-doctor relationships)
- said duty was ignored or was not performed
- the act resulted in harm
- injuries incurred can be financially compensated
If you or someone you know is about to undergo a personal injury claim, here are a few documents your attorney might ask for:
These are crucial in any lawsuit, but most especially for accident and injury claims. Make sure you get pictures of the scene where the accident happened. If it was a car collision and you are still able to move, don’t forget to take snapshots of both vehicles, the damage, position of debris, street signs, as well as the condition of your general surroundings.
For slip and fall cases, images showing potential hazards (like a large slab of concrete in the way or an open manhole) are good evidence. Non-vehicle related cases (like medical malpractice) should have photographs of the extent of injuries. It may or may not include bruises, cuts, wounds, rashes, or other physical conditions.
Paperwork is also important in building a convincing argument. Things such as police reports are invaluable; particularly if the officer specified negligence on the part of the defendant. Lawsuits involving assault and battery also require police reports.
Other documents needed for personal injury claims are medical records, your daily journal, and proof of missed work. The plaintiff needs to gather medical records from when the accident or personal injury in California took place so that the defendant will have a hard time forming an alibi. It should also state the type of treatment given, the diagnosis, and medication.
The journal in this case, refers to your own personal documentation of the progress of your injuries. It’s here that you write down how your pain is preventing you from performing daily tasks. If you can secure proof that you missed work due to your suffering, you may be compensated for lost wages.
Don’t forget people who have witnessed you get hurt. As long as they are willing to vouch for you, get their names and contact details. This is a bit harder for those in medical malpractice cases as witnesses are also those in the same field as the defendant (nurses, health workers, other doctors, etc.). They normally refrain from giving statements that might damage their colleague’s reputation.
However, when you can, be sure to get trustworthy eyewitness accounts for a stronger claim. For more information in collecting substantial evidence, seek the right personal injury attorney in California.