- That you have suffered an injury; and
- That your injury is a direct result of another party’s negligence or recklessness.
In some cases, proving the other party’s negligence is easy. Examples of cases like this include cases where the other party was using his or her cell phone, driving while intoxicated, or blatantly disregarding the posted traffic signs. In other cases, a driver’s negligence is more difficult to prove and may require the use of eyewitness testimonies, security footage, and testing for the presence of certain prescription drugs in his or her body.
Proving your own injuries can be much more complicated. This is because there are more factors to consider, giving the insurance provider more opportunities to reject your claim or reduce your potential settlement amount. Some examples of these factors include:
- Your own contributions to the accident;
- Any existing conditions you have that might have contributed to your injury or made it worse;
- Your credibility as a claimant; and
- The true extent of your expenses related to the injury.
This is why it is critical that you provide sufficient proof to support your injury claim. The more evidence you can provide to prove your claim, the better chance you have of receiving an adequate settlement. There are certain pieces of evidence that you can provide yourself, such as the following:
Your Medical Records. These will show not only the date of your initial examination and diagnosis by a doctor, but the progress of your treatment. This is important because it links your injury to the date of the accident and shows that you conscientious about your health enough to seek medical care. It also shows the extent of your injury and the type of treatment you received.
Eyewitness Accounts. Anybody who saw the accident happen and its immediate aftermath or was there with you through your recovery, like a spouse or other family member, can give his or her eyewitness account of your injury and subsequent needs.
Your Copy of the Official Police Report. At the scene of your accident, ask the attending police officer for a copy of the official police report. This will confirm the date and time of the accident as well as any outside forces that could have contributed to it, such as adverse weather conditions or a poorly-lit roadway. It also confirms the identity of any other drivers involved and their vehicles as well as an overview of the actual collision.
A Record of your Time Out of Work and its Economic Repercussions. If you are seeking compensation for lost wages because of the time you had to spend out of work to recover or compensation for any advancement opportunities you missed at work because of your injury, you will need to prove these with documentation from your employer. This can include a pay stub showing the time out of work, a record of your absence from work, or a note from your supervisor attesting to your time spent away from work.
Evidence from Professional Parties
There are also potentially useful pieces of evidence that need to come from other parties. Your Memphis Attorney can help you obtain these pieces of evidence because sometimes, they require specialized knowledge or networking access. Examples of this type of evidence include the following:
Specialized Medical Opinions. Your injury might require medical intervention from a medical specialist such as a plastic surgeon or an orthopedist to allow you to make a full recovery or avoid permanent disfigurement or disability. If you are in this type of situation, your specialist may provide his or her expert opinion about your injury and the extent of the treatment you will need.
A Reconstruction of the Accident Scene. Your claim could be aided by a virtual reconstruction of the accident. To create such a reconstruction, you will need to work with an accident reconstruction specialist. The specialist uses data from your accident to create a digital reenactment of what happened so the court or the insurance provider handling your claim can get a better understanding of exactly what happened.
Whether one of these pieces of evidence can help prove your claim can be determined by your attorney. When you are working through the personal injury claim process after a car accident, it is important that you follow your attorney’s instructions and do not interact with an insurance provider or other party without first discussing it with your lawyer. Insurance providers often attempt to save money by offering much lower settlement amounts than claimants need to cover their needs. By accepting such an offer or inadvertently making a statement that can hurt your claim, you can potentially lose a large amount of money.