Evidence stands at the center of focus in any type of legal case, but for personal injury cases, having the right evidence is critical. As obvious as this may seem, there’s often very little time for gathering important evidence in the aftermath of an accident. If you’re seriously injured, you may not think about taking photos of the scene or requesting any video surveillance recordings that may be available.
Important evidence for your personal injury claim
Having these crucial pieces of evidence can mean the difference between winning the financial compensation you need and deserve or losing it all.
Photos and video. Photos add context to the scene of the accident and show the extent of your injuries. They also provide hints about causes, both direct and indirect, as well as other relevant information. Surveillance video, or even a video taken by someone standing by, may even show the accident as it happened. It’s important to take photos before the scene is cleaned up. For example, if you slipped and fell in a grocery story, it’s crucial that you take a photo of the spill or other object that caused the fall before workers clean it up.
The types of photos important for a personal injury case include:
- Vehicle damage
- Skid marks
- Spilled liquid
- Road conditions (e.g. uneven pavement, blind spots, things blocking view, potholes, lack of traffic signs, etc.)
- Defective products
- Property damage (e.g. broken laptop, glasses, phone, etc.)
- Your injuries
Police reports. Call the police immediately if you’re in a car accident. The police officer will conduct interviews of all involved and investigate who is at-fault for the accident. The same is true if you’re involved in a physical altercation at a bar, or some other property. Call the police, if they aren’t already there, so you have a police report detailing the event. For basic car accidents, know that the police often do not take pictures so you still need to make sure you take your own.
Medical records. Keep copies of your medical bills and treatment records. These show the extent of your injuries and details the financial cost associated with your injury. Medical records can also prove a link between your injuries and the accident, so make sure to keep a copy of every medical report and invoice.
Helpful medical records include:
- EMT reports
- Emergency room charts
- Physician’s notes
- Imaging reports (e.g. x-ray, MRI, CT, etc.)
- Bills for lab work, imaging tests, medication, medical equipment, and co-pays
Witness statements. Although police are usually involved in the aftermath of car accidents, they may not be around for accidents involving slip-and-fall or a defective product. In these and other cases where police were not involved, it’s your responsibility to locate and interview witnesses. Do this as soon as possible so their memories are fresh and accurate. Information from these impartial third parties can have an incredibly positive impact on your case.
Details of pain and suffering. Suffering arising out of emotional distress and physical pain is much harder to quantify than medical bills and treatment records. Even so, it’s vitally important to your case. One way to have a concrete record of your suffering is to keep a daily journal. Use the journal to document daily pain levels and your emotional state after the accident. Some things you might record include:
- Daily pain levels
- Brain injury symptoms
- PTSD symptoms
- Medication side effects
- Financial stress
- Embarrassment due to injuries
Contact Personal Injury Attorney, Kathryn Burmeister to talk about your injury and how she can help you recover medical costs as well as obtain additional monetary compensation for future needs associated with your injury. Attorney Burmeister is highly experienced with all types of personal injury cases. You don’t need to suffer any longer. Call Burmeister Law Firm and arrange a free consultation with Kathryn Burmeister.