The consequences of a car accident are certainly real to the accident victim. But as the victim, you may be wondering how you can convey your situation to a court in a lawsuit. The best way to identify and strategize a car accident lawsuit recovery is to gather evidence that can prove your case and hire an experienced injury attorney.
Evidence comes in all shapes and sizes. You can use physical evidence, photos or videos, medical records, and witness testimony as evidence in your car accident lawsuit. You can use as much or as little evidence as you want, provided that you can convince a jury of your argument “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This evidence is used to prove not only that the defendant is responsible for the victim’s harms, but that those harms are severe enough to warrant compensation. This compensation comes in the form of damages, which will most often require expert testimony.
How Much Evidence You Need After a Car Accident?
The simple answer here is that you can never have enough evidence for your car accident injury lawsuit. Therefore, you should always err on the side of collecting too much evidence. If you end up not using some of it, all you lose is the time you spent gathering it, which is much better than losing your lawsuit for not having enough evidence.
The quality and quantity of the evidence that you introduce in your car accident lawsuit must be enough to meet the standard of proof. For car accident injury lawsuits, the standard of proof for a plaintiff’s claim is typically “a preponderance of the evidence.” In other words, you and your Queens auto accident lawyer will need to convince a jury that the evidence you presented shows that the defendant was, more likely than not, at fault for causing the accident and your injuries.
Kinds of Evidence You Should Collect After a Car Accident
You can introduce evidence for your car accident lawsuit in a number of ways. Different forms of evidence will serve unique purposes (or multiple purposes) in your search for recovery from your injuries.
Physical evidence is always critical in any civil suit. However, this may not always be easy to collect in a car accident. For this reason, it can be helpful to take pictures and video of the scene of the accident, both immediately after the accident and later on. You can benefit from this documentary evidence to show the following:
- The damage to the vehicles
- The impact on the surrounding area (such as guardrails)
- The tire tracks left on the road after a vehicle skidded out of control.
You can also introduce other documents detailing what happened, such as medical records. Hospital documentation can serve to demonstrate how your injuries were sustained as well as the prognosis and cost of your treatment plan.
You will not be able to introduce an official police report of the accident in most cases, but you can use it to help with settlement negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Police officers can also use their police reports at trial to remind them of what happened. Therefore, it is important that you call 911 and have an officer dispatched to the scene, and that you seek a medical evaluation as soon as possible after the accident.
Types of Witness Testimony for a Car Accident Lawsuit
Different types of witnesses can provide different types of information to help with your case. While eyewitnesses can provide evidence of what happened, you may need medical and financial experts to provide evidence of how bad your injuries are and what your damages are worth.
Passengers, other drivers, and pedestrian passersby can provide additional information about how the accident occurred and who was at fault. You can have these people provide their story in court to help you with your recovery. After you leave the scene, it can be hard to identify and locate these individuals, so you should try to obtain contact information from as many potential eyewitnesses as possible after the accident.
Medical Expert Testimony
Medical experts can testify to how you may have sustained your injuries as a result of the accident, which can help you establish the defendant’s role in causing you harm. But they can also be essential to establishing the costs of your ongoing and future medical care. These costs are a part of what you can recover through damages in a car accident lawsuit.
Financial Expert Testimony
Another way that expert witnesses can contribute to proving your damages is by demonstrating the direct financial consequences on your professional career. Recovery from your injuries can keep you out of work, cause you to miss advancement opportunities, and even hinder your ability to perform the necessary functions of your job. A financial expert can help demonstrate the economic consequences of your injury as well as the cost of noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
How Do Lawyers Help with Evidence After a Car Accident?
It is never too early to obtain legal counsel to assist you with evidentiary preparation for a car accident injury lawsuit. Your car accident lawyer can help you compile informational evidence, such as medical records, to help you estimate the value of your claim. Lawyers are also adept at finding qualified expert witnesses that can assist you in your case. You can give any physical or visual evidence to your lawyer for safekeeping to avoid any chance of tampering or misplacement. While you do not need a lawyer to file a car accident lawsuit, experienced legal assistance can provide you with support and peace of mind while you are dealing with your own physical, emotional, and financial recovery.