Learn how to gather evidence for your personal injury case and maximize your claim.
Gathering evidence for personal injury cases can be overwhelming if you aren’t sure where to start.
When you plan to file a personal injury claim because you were harmed due to someone else’s carelessness, try to collect the evidence immediately after the incident.
The more evidence you can present, the better the outcome of your personal injury case.
Below, we have established a list of the evidence you need to gather for a successful personal injury claim.
What Evidence To Gather For A Personal Injury Claim
Photographic evidence of the accident scene is essential in determining who is liable for any incident damages. It helps to show the result of the accident, the nature of it, and how it happened, which will help your case.
It’s best to take photos immediately after the accident happened or return to the scene as soon as possible. If you are unable to do so, ask a witness to take them for you.
Time is of the essence here as evidence can be lost if you wait too long. For example, it may be blown away by the wind, structural damages may be repaired, and injuries will heal.
To gather photographic evidence of the scene of the accident, you’ll need a camera. This can be a digital camera or simply the camera on your cell phone.
What To Take Photos Of
- Take photos of the weather on the day of the accident, road markings, and damage to property or the vehicle. Ensure that the date and time of the accident are indicated on the image file.
- Take the photos at the scene of the accident from different angles, particularly your view of the incident. It will help determine the severity of the incident, and they provide unique points of view of the accident scene.
- If you are returning to the accident scene a few days later, you must take pictures of any damaged structures. These include property, vehicles, and road markings. You can ask a family member or friend to return with you if you are injured, or if you need an extra hand capturing all the relevant photos. The image file must also reflect the date and time of when you returned to the scene to take the photos.
- Also take pictures of any injuries you suffered as a result of the accident. If possible, take photos of your physical injuries over time to show how they progressed. Take these photos from different angles, as well, to show the full extent of the injuries sustained.
- You may obtain photo and video evidence from your insurance company, the police, or security footage.
Physical evidence for your personal injury claim is anything tangible that you can present in front of a judge.
It aids in proving the nature of the injuries, as well as the extent of them.
Physical evidence is also helpful in determining who is liable for the accident damages.
Examples of physical evidence you need to gather include torn or bloodied clothing, obstacles on a bike path, or pre-recorded messages. Taking photos of the physical evidence is always a good idea.
Preserving evidence is crucial when it comes to physical evidence. Weather conditions, as well as time, impact the condition of physical evidence.
It can also be misplaced or damaged if you do not preserve the evidence as soon as possible.
Try to preserve evidence in the exact condition at the scene of the accident. That will ensure that no one can modify and repair any damages to the evidence.
The most common ways to preserve evidence is to:
- Write down how the accident happened and how the injury occurred
- Inspect the scene of the accident for any damages or clues to how the accident occurred
- Journal how your injury occurred and its progression
When you are in an accident, you may not have a perfect recall of the details of the accident. That is why a witness statement can support your personal injury claim greatly. They may be able to recall details of the incident clearer than you are able to after the accident.
Witnesses can state the persons involved in the accident, how the accident occurred, and other relevant information. They can also provide an unbiased description of the events of the accident.
If you can, ask them to write the details of what they observed as soon as possible after the accident occurred. Also, ask them for their contact information in case they need to appear in court.
If the witnesses provide oral statements, record them on a device to keep an accurate record.
When it comes to a car accident, witness statements are incredibly helpful in determining who is liable for the collision.
A witness statement that supports your description of who was at fault can also strengthen your case with your insurance company and if you bring a lawsuit for your injury claim.
Accident Or Police Report
Accident and police reports are the first items you need to file for personal injury claims.
Law enforcement prepares police reports for vehicle accidents after they survey the scene. The police report is professionally documented according to the details the police obtain.
Details of the police report include diagrams of the accident, the involved persons in the collision, and statements from the drivers and witnesses.
If other accidents happened as a result of the collision, information about them will also be included in the accident report.
Police reports are available to the public, so you have the right to obtain a copy. If you are not sure how to obtain one, your personal injury attorney can assist you.
An accident report is your account of the accident and is necessary to have for all types of personal injury cases. You will need to obtain a copy of the accident report from the officials who arrived at the scene for your claim.
If you sustained any injuries from the accident, a medical professional would have tended to you.
Whether it was a healthcare provider or a therapist, you must disclose any medical treatment you received as a result of the accident in your personal injury claim.
Medical records from the treatment you received are proof of the injuries you sustained and their effects in the long term.
These effects can include long-term rehabilitation, physical health problems, and emotional wellbeing.
You must ensure that you accurately describe your injuries and your limitations because of your injuries for an accurate and fair report.
Medical records you will need to submit for personal injury cases, amongst others, include:
- ambulance call reports
- clinical records
- lab results
- diagnostic results and treatment plans
- medical bills
- rehabilitation reports
You may also obtain medical records from your primary medical practitioner to compare your health before and after the accident.
If the accident caused any adverse effects on your health, your personal injury lawyer will ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Personal Description Of The Event
A personal description of the event is your account of the accident. It details everything you can remember, as well as the consequences of the accident.
Whether you were involved in a vehicle accident or a victim of a treatment mistake, your description plays a vital role in your claim.
The best way to recall details after the accident is to prepare and write down exactly what happened as soon as possible after the event. This way, you will be able to recall and capture the most relevant information.
Recording your recollection of the event verbally in a voice memo is another idea you are not too fond of writing.
Your description should depict the events leading up to the accident, how it happened, and the injuries you sustained.
You must also describe how you sustained your injuries, their progression, and their impact on your daily activities.
Everything accounted for in your personal description is how you perceived the event. Make notes about how you were treated by medical professionals and the persons involved in the accident.
All these details help your personal injury lawyer understand all aspects of the accident, which helps your case.
There are various items you need to gather as evidence for personal injury claims, ranging from photos to medical records.
It is important that you gather as much evidence as you can because it will determine liability and you want to prove you weren’t at fault so that you can gain compensation for your injury.