Evidence in Personal Injury Cases
If you are injured in an accident, you may sustain injuries and incur financial losses. Because Oklahoma is an at-fault state for most negligence claims, you must prove the other party caused your injury to recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
The burden of proof in most personal injury cases is a preponderance of the evidence. Proving your case by a preponderance of the evidence requires that you convince the jury that there is a greater than 50 percent chance your claim is true.
Fortunately, most personal injury cases settle without going to trial. However, you must still have evidence proving that the other party caused your injuries.
Without strong evidence proving fault and liability, the insurance company is unlikely to offer you a fair settlement. If the insurance company believes your evidence is weak, it could deny your claim.
What Types of Evidence Are Used in Personal Injury Cases?
The evidence used to prove fault and damages in a personal injury case varies. The type of injury claim and the facts of the case dictate the evidence that might be used to prove negligence.
However, there are common types of evidence that are used in many personal injury cases.
Examples of evidence in a personal injury case include:
Accident Reports/Police Reports
Accident reports are filed for motor vehicle accidents like car wrecks and truck crashes, premises liability claims, dog bites, boating accidents, and other injuries and accidents. These reports include a variety of information about the accident and injury. These reports become part of the official record.
Your lawyer obtains copies of all accident reports or police reports to examine and analyze. The information may be used to gain new leads during an investigation.
The statements by eyewitnesses can be very compelling evidence in a personal injury case. If the case comes down to a “he said – she said” situation, the eyewitness can push the case in favor of one of the parties.
Jurors often view the testimony from each party with a suspicious eye. They expect each party to tell the story in a way that makes them appear to be the innocent party. In other words, the parties to the action have a stake in the outcome of the case.
However, an eyewitness does not have a stake in the outcome of the case. Therefore, jurors may give more credit to the testimony given by an eyewitness.
Photographs and Videos
It is wise to take pictures and make a video of the accident scene. Capturing the accident scene immediately after an injury can provide critical evidence that proves fault and liability.
However, video from traffic cameras and surveillance cameras may also be used to show what happened to cause your injury.
Medical Records and Bills
Whenever a person is injured, they should seek immediate medical attention for their injuries. Prompt medical care is essential to prevent your injuries from worsening.
Failing to seek medical care could result in allegations of failure to mitigate damages. The other party may also claim the accident did not cause your injury because you did not seek prompt medical treatment after the accident.
Medical records help establish the fact that you sustained injuries. They also explain the extent of your injuries, including permanent impairments or disabilities.
Examples of medical records in a personal injury case include:
- Ambulance services
- Hospital records
- Physicians records
- Therapy records
- Psychological records
- Chiropractor records
You will also need the bills for medical treatment and services to prove how much you are entitled to receive for the cost of medical care.
You are entitled to receive compensation for your lost wages, benefits, and other income. Employment records are used to establish how much you would have earned had you been able to work.
If you sustain a permanent disability because of the accident, you may need evidence and testimony from medical experts and financial experts. These experts examine your case to determine the future loss of income and benefits caused by the injury.
Receipts and Bills for Out-of-Pocket Expenses
You might be entitled to compensation for expenses related to the accident or your injury.
Examples of economic damages other than medical bills include:
- Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
- Cost of personal care
- Over-the-counter medications, medical equipment, and medical supplies
- Modifications to your home or vehicle because of a permanent disability
- Cost of assistance with household chores and child care
Invoices, bills, and payment receipts are required to prove you incurred these expenses.
Car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and other forms of liability insurance may cover the accident or incident that caused your injuries. Your attorney reviews copies of insurance policies to determine coverage. Your attorney may also use the terms and conditions of the policy to argue that the insurance company is liable for your damages.
As mentioned above, expert witnesses may be used to provide expert opinions, evidence, and testimony regarding your injuries and damages. For example, accident reconstructionists, engineers, and other experts may testify how an accident occurred to establish fault.
Medical experts testify regarding the extent of your injuries. Financial experts calculate the value of your damages, including future damages and reduced earning potential.
Gathering Evidence for a Personal Injury Case
It is essential that you gather as much evidence as quickly as possible regarding your injury case. Some evidence could be destroyed or lost. In addition, the memories of eyewitnesses may fade with time.
However, it can be challenging to gather evidence on your own. You may have a lengthy recovery ahead of you. You may not have the time, resources, or knowledge necessary to gather evidence related to a personal injury claim.
Our legal team has significant experience investigating accident cases and gathering evidence. We leave nothing to chance. While you focus on healing from your injuries, we focus on obtaining the evidence necessary to prove fault, liability, and damages.
Contact Our Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a family member sustained injuries because of another party’s negligence or wrongdoing, you deserve fair and just compensation for your damages. Contact our law firm to request your free consultation with an experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorney. Let’s discuss what happened to you and the ways our legal team can help you win maximum compensation for your injury claim.