Gathering & Preserving Personal Injury Evidence for a Case

 

Gathering and preserving personal injury evidence in a personal injury case is a crucial step in formulating a strong case of liability. Without tangible personal injury evidence, there is a good chance the likelihood of receiving an adequate settlement or payout amount will fall drastically.

Some examples of tangible evidence include:

  • Photos and videos
  • Witness statements
  • Medical records
  • Medical bills
  • Police Reports, Also known as incident reports
  • Public records
  • Physical evidence such as damaged property or the dent in the car showing where it was hit
  • Lost wages as a result of the injury

When gathering evidence for a personal injury case, you should begin as soon as possible. On-the-scene evidence is the most preferred because it gives insurance adjusters, the insurance company, and/or courtrooms a firsthand look at the situation. You should collect evidence by legal means only. When collecting certain types of evidence, such as statements or information from other parties on the scene, you should do so in an objective manner – simply ask the necessary questions without evoking emotion or mentioning your own opinion.

 

What are the 4 Types of Evidence?

  1. Real Evidence – real evidence consists of tangible things, such as a knife.
  2. Demonstrative – demonstratives act as models to demonstrate what occurred in the situation – such as recreations.
  3. Documentary – documentary is any document that as used as evidence.
  4. Testimonial – testimonials are witness testimonies, expert testimonies, and party testimonies.

 

Physical Evidence in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Tangible, real evidence, i.e. something you can hold in your hand, is sometimes more persuasive in proving a personal injury case simply because it is immediately apparent the extent of the injury or accident. For example, if bloodied and torn clothing is kept and presented to the defense, it is obvious the accident caused significant injury. The sight of physical evidence can be very helpful in establishing a burden of proof.

Keep all real evidence organized and well-preserved. If you have photos or documents, keep them dated and have backup copies. Physical articles such as bloodied clothing should be kept in bags, labeled, and documented. Labels should include detailed notes on how the items play into your case.

 

Documentation as Personal Injury Evidence

personal injury evidencePhotos, documents, testimonials, and reports can be the strongest types of evidence in a personal injury case. On-the-scene photos and videos are very helpful, and follow-up photos are necessary as well. You should document injuries, such as lacerations, using photos. Make sure to take daily photos to record the healing process of any injuries you suffered from the incident. All pieces of evidence should be photographed, especially those too difficult to physically present to an insurance adjuster or the court. Examples of these include photos of the damaged property, such as dents in your automobile after a car accident.

Any and all documents that you receive that are in any way related to your personal injury should also be saved and organized. If you lose a document, your personal injury attorney may be able to use legal methods in order to acquire a copy. However, you should always save any documents that you acquire throughout your personal injury.

 

Testimonials as Personal Injury Evidence

3rd party witness testimony can also be a useful tool to enhance your liability argument in a personal injury case. You will want to physically write down everything that a witness tells you word-for-word. Do not alter their statements in any way. You will also want to get all 3rd party witnesses ‘ contact information in case your lawyer wants to follow up.

Along with witness testimony, you will need to write down your own recollection of the events. This can be used as evidence as well. Your testimony needs to be as objective as possible – keep it factual and unadulterated by your personal opinion and emotions.

 

Police Reports as Personal Injury Evidence

Police reports and authority reports are very common types of documentation personal injury evidence and can be extremely helpful in supporting your claim. After an accident has occurred, whether it be a car accident or slip and fall, it is important to document the incident with local law enforcement. After contacting emergency personnel, do not leave the scene of the accident and wait for responding officers to arrive. If medical treatment is needed, paramedics will administer help.

While for some injuries, it may seem unnecessary to call the police and an ambulance, it is important to have documentation of the accident in the form of a police report. The facts and detailed descriptions of what happened, from both sides, can help your case down the road. Always contact the police and first responders. Always collect authority and first responder information (name, badge number, the district they serve, office phone number, etc.) Always make sure that all first responders are keeping reports of the incident and that you will have access to these reports. If you are denied access, your personal injury attorney will likely be able to acquire them through legal processes later on.

 

Other Forms of Personal Injury Evidence

There are many different forms of evidence that have not been mentioned. Personal injury lawsuits cover a broad spectrum of incidents, each type having specific pieces of evidence that differ from others. For some personal injury cases, the evidence is more difficult to collect. For example, it is very difficult to present evidence to prove mental distress caused by a personal injury. In this case, a credible expert may be necessary to plead on behalf of the injured party.

In these circumstances, a personal injury lawyer can help to not only determine how to find the evidence but also provide it for your argument.

Personal injury evidence is an essential part of establishing and proving a lawsuit. Without it, it would be incredibly difficult to prove a personal injury claim. A lawsuit has multiple different steps and it is important to be aware of each one, even with the assistance of a lawyer.

 

What is the Preponderance of Evidence?

In a civil lawsuit, the preponderance of evidence equates to the evidence that carries greater weight for the trier of fact to decide in favor of either the plaintiff or the defendant. It does not matter how much evidence either side presents – the preponderance of each side’s evidence is based on the more probable, accurate, and convincing evidence, rather than amount alone.

 

What Percentage is Clear and Convincing Evidence?

Clear and convincing is a standard that evidence must meet in order to be considered probable, accurate, and convincing. In order to meet the standard, the evidence

 

What Evidence is Admissible in Court?

Evidence that is admissible in court must be relevant to the event while not considered unfairly prejudicial, confusing, privileged, or based on hearsay.

 

What is Substantial Evidence?

The substantial evidence rule is a principle that evidence used to come to a judgment in a lawsuit would hold strength if a reviewing party were to rule on it.

 

What is Conclusive Evidence?

Conclusive evidence is evidence that is so strong that it cannot be challenged by and other evidence

 

Learn More About the Lawsuit Process:

Summary
Article Name
Gathering & Preserving Personal Injury Evidence for a Case
Description
Gathering personal injury evidence is important to prove liability. Photos, witness statements, and medical records can all be evidence.
Author
Publisher Name
TorHoerman Law
Publisher Logo
+ - References

Hg.org, www.hg.org/legal-articles/types-of-evidence-to-present-in-a-personal-injury-case-49219.

“Legal Dictionary - Law.com.” Law.com Legal Dictionary, dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1586.

“Admissible Evidence.” Legal Information Institute, Legal Information Institute, www.law.cornell.edu/wex/admissible_evidence.

7 Comments Posted

  1. While seeing an oncologist, he failed to give necessary tests that could have identified Cancer that could have been curable in early stages,but now that it is advanced, it is incurable. I was seeing said dr for another type of cancer that was caused by a BRCA gene.

    Posted by Nora on Thu Aug 16 2018 4:45pm

  2. I have a neighbor that burns coal in a hydronic coal boiler.
    The flu gassed it emits and PM released is so toxic it burns our noses eyes throats, causes headaches breathing difficulties memory loss and god knows what else. I have videos of the toxic plume and ignited gases leaving the chimney that’s below the pitch of his roof let alone the neighbors house. The plume stagnates in the alley and releases into our house. I’ve made several complaints to the police department, city hall, state health department, department of environmental quality, state attorneys office. They refuse to even mount an air monitor to measure the air claiming they don’t have one.
    They don’t even follow the laws I’ve quoted 27-101 27-301 etc I tried making a claim against him as a nuisance. But for some reason the law doesn’t apply to him. This has been going on for about 3 years now with a 1 year lapse due to him not having a boiler in service the winter of 2017/2018. But now it’s back and he’s burning in middle of summer just to be that rude neighbor. He piles 20+ pounds of coal in it at once and let’s it smolder.
    I need help in suing him as I’ve made personal contact with him over it with no resolution and he basically says he’s above the law and there nothing I can do about it. So at this point he’s purposely harming my family and I.
    I also want his boiler removed as it’s a neighborhood health hazard.

    Posted by Jeff Arnett on Fri Aug 30 2019 12:25am

    • Jeff – we are sorry to hear of the situation you are dealing with. Toxic chemicals in hydronic coal boilers have been known to cause irritations, rashes, breathing difficulty, etc. The state and local laws and regulations regarding private property differ greatly, so it may be best for you to contact us personally to discuss the details of this situation. You can feel free to reach us at our toll-free number 1-888-508-6752 any time. A lawyer from our team would be more than happy to discuss these matters with you in an initial consultation, which is free of charge and requires you to make no obligations following the consultation. In the meantime, continue to gather evidence in a legal matter, as you have been doing – be sure to keep written notes of your symptoms, photos of any emissions from the boiler on your property, etc.

      Best,
      The THL team

      Posted by Jordan Terry on Mon Sep 2 2019 4:50pm

  3. I’m a Private Investigator working on a worker’s compensation case for a private client. The client has just informed me that his attorney relayed to him that it would have to be revealed during Discovery that the subject has been under surveillance by a Private Investigator. Is this the case even though no evidence has been obtained to this point?

    Posted by Eddie on Wed Sep 4 2019 3:19pm

    • Eddie – Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately, your question requires a specific analysis of your local applicable law and any orders entered by the presiding judge. We would recommend that you speak with your client’s attorney.

      Posted by Jordan Terry on Thu Sep 5 2019 2:28pm

  4. I am an educator and nurse practitioner by career. Recently, another instructor moved into the office with me. I advised her that I was chemically sensitive. However, she brought Lysol, gueoff and incense into the office that caused me to become acutely ill to the point of being treated in the emergency room for an acute reaction. I had not experienced a chemical reaction in several years because my doctor had detox me for chemicals and dogs. I have become very sensitive again. What should I do. I had to be hospitalized once for being exposed to Lysol.

    Posted by Annie Clavon on Wed Oct 23 2019 9:35am

    • Annie – For the time being, follow your doctor’s orders and avoid further chemical exposure. Be sure to document the situation well. Start by writing down the events with as much detail as possible – document the event itself: where it happened, when it happened, how it happened, as much of the conversation as you can recall when you told your co-worker about your chemical sensitivity. You should also document the injury itself: where were you treated, who was the treating physician, what were their orders, what did they prescribe for you. Then, if you decide to pursue legal action, you will need to talk to an experienced chemical exposure attorney – A member of TorHoerman Law is available to talk to you about your potential chemical exposure personal injury, free of charge.

      Posted by Jordan Terry on Sat Oct 26 2019 2:03pm

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Gathering and preserving personal injury evidence in a personal injury case is a crucial step in formulating a strong case of liability. Without tangible personal injury evidence, there is a good chance the likelihood of receiving an adequate settlement or payout amount will fall drastically.

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