What Evidence Will I Need to Prove My Personal Injury Claim?
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and someone else is at fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a personal injury case. As Denver personal injury lawyers, we are experienced in helping our clients to build a strong case. In every personal injury case, the injured party must prove certain elements in order to recover. Generally speaking, the personal injury plaintiff’s “burden of proof” includes showing that the defendant was negligent, that the negligence caused your injuries, and that you have suffered damages, such as medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
The evidence you will need to prove your personal injury claim includes testimonial evidence, documents (such as medical records and tax returns), physical evidence, and, in some cases, expert witnesses. Evidence can be direct (such as witnesses to the accident), circumstantial (which relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact), or tangible (such as physical evidence). An example of circumstantial evidence – which can be just as powerful as direct evidence – is evidence of the defendant’s fingerprints at the scene of a crime.
The parties to a personal injury case will give testimony in the form of depositions. Witnesses to the incident at issue will likely testify as well. You may also ask family members and friends to testify on your behalf as to how the incident has affected your ability to perform activities of daily living, as well as your relationships.
Much of the evidence in a personal injury case will come in the form of documents. Medical records, as well as incident reports and statements, may be introduced to support both the liability and damages aspects of the case. Pay stubs and tax returns may be presented as evidence of lost wages. The earlier you start to college these documents and provide them to your lawyer, the better.
In certain types of personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice and some automobile accidents, your claim will have to be supported by evidence from an expert. An expert witness is someone with specific technical knowledge in a particular subject. Most personal injury cases do not require an expert.