In order to be successful in proving negligence in a personal injury claim, a plaintiff needs to gather as much evidence as possible. The evidence needs to prove that the defendant owed some kind of duty to the plaintiff, that the duty was breached, that the breach resulted in injury, and that the injury occurred for which damages can be paid.
The following are some examples of evidence which may be used to develop an effective personal injury case include:
- Photographs – In regard to car accident cases, photographs from the crash scene are considered one of the most useful forms of evidence a plaintiff can use to prove his or her case. Ensure that they show the damage to the vehicles (both exterior and interior), the injuries of all parties involved, the location of the road debris and skid marks, and the street conditions at the time of the collision. However, photographs are also important for other types of accidents as well.
- Police reports – After a car accident a police report can be invaluable evidence if law enforcement authorities discover that the collision was caused by a negligent action, such as running a red light or speeding. A police report is also essential in intentional torts cases, such as if a person sues another in a civil suit for assault.
- Eyewitness statements – In the event of a car accident, you should obtain the names of witnesses who saw the events unfold. Ensure you get their names, contact information, and a written account of what they actually witnessed so you will know who should make a good witness for your case.
- Medical records – One of the most important things to do after an accident or injury is to seek immediate medical attention, no matter how minor or severe the injury is. Having a doctor properly diagnose your injury demonstrates the severity of the injury, which can be useful in a personal injury case. The records should have date back to right after the injury. Any delay can make it seem like the injury wasn't legitimate, or weren't actually caused by the accident.
- Proof of missed time off work – If you are seeking to recover lost wages in the personal injury settlement, you need to obtain proof of missed work time. Lost wages can make up a substantial portion of your damages.
- A daily journal of the progress of your injuries and how they have affected you – When it comes to determining a monetary sum for pain and suffering, having more proof of how your injuries and your medical treatments have affected you can prove beneficial. Recording what you are experiencing on a daily basis is one of the best ways to convey the day-to-day impact of your injuries. Additionally, it is wise to photograph the healing process of your injury.