Evidence is the bread and butter of any personal injury case. The quality of evidence and the amount you compile can quickly make or break your claim. In some cases, lack of evidence can result in a significant drop in the amount of compensation you receive, even if you are clearly the victim in an accident.
Clients who aren’t familiar with the types of evidence they can use in a case may be unintentionally allowing compelling information to disappear. When you have been wrongfully injured in an accident, particularly in an area as busy as Long Island or New York City, the quick gathering of evidence is crucial.
Personal injury lawyers that possess the experience and resources to gather evidence are priceless when it comes to filing a successful injury claim. However, familiarizing yourself with what constitutes as evidence after sustaining an injury can also be useful to ensure that no important information is lost after an accident.
Types of Evidence
Determining when an accident was caused by negligence or wrongdoing is more complex than simply claiming that it happened. According to New York State’s personal injury law, a plaintiff must be able to prove two main components:
– Liability: Personal injury claims must show that someone was liable for the injuries a victim sustained. It makes no difference whether the injury was caused by accident, negligence, or if it was intentional in nature, a personal injury lawyer must be able to prove that the defendant in the case was directly liable.
– Damages: Plaintiffs must be able to prove that the damages sustained in a personal injury case, whether they are physical, emotional, psychological, financial, and so on, were a direct effect of the accident.
Evidence includes anything that can be used to prove someone was liable for your injury: testimony, exhibits, documents, or more. Some of the most common types of evidence you may be asked to provide include:
– Physical Evidence: Physical evidence includes tangible objects that can be shown in court and referenced as proof of an accident. These could include clothes, equipment, tools, vehicles, or even proof of certain weather conditions related to the event. Proof of any physical injuries sustained (scars, lacerations, etc.) will also be used to establish a serious injury has occurred, although sometimes photos are taken as a substitute.
– Documentation of Injuries: Medical bills, prescriptions, incident reports, police statements, or any other documentation pertaining to your injury after an accident can be used as evidence in a case.
– Accident Scene Evidence: Photographs or videos of the accident scene can be used to show the aftermath of an accident and to establish certain characteristics of how the events played out. These photos help in situations where conditions cannot be recreated (such as weather) or in cases where evidence is too large or unable to be removed from the scene of the accident.
– Witness Statements: Witnesses to your accident can be extremely useful in painting a clear picture of the events leading up to your injury. Almost all parties who witnessed your accident can provide a statement for your claim. Witness statements are extremely strong pieces of evidence as they provide different perspectives of the accident that are helpful for your case.
– Photos & Videos:Videos or photos that capture accidents as they are occurring are one of the greatest pieces of evidence in proving liability. Red light and speed cameras have been known for significantly helping in cases involving pedestrian, bicycle, and motor vehicle accidents as they eliminate the need to recreate the scene of an accident.
– Online Information: Information from social media accounts, emails, and other online sources have become extremely popular in an age where digital media has become our primary source of communication. They are often used to determine a defendant’s character or to prove a history of committing similar acts of negligence.
How Is Evidence Gathered
To meet the New York State requirements for filing a personal injury claim, attorneys must wear several different hats and have access to credible experts to gather the evidence needed for your case. Types of resources a personal injury lawyer may utilize include:
– Medical professionals;
– Law enforcement;
– First responders;
– Private investigators;
– Mental health experts;
– Engineering experts;
– Vocational experts;
– Accident reconstruction experts;
– Partnering law firms; and more.
Expert witnesses are vital resources when it comes to showing the total amount of damages an accident victim has sustained. The best personal injury lawyers will have a team of experts in their corner at all times. These advocates are ready to jump in and fight for clients to help secure the compensation they deserve to get back on their feet.
What To Do After An Accident
Knowing what to do after an accident can greatly increase your chances of filling a successful injury claim. When you are injured, you may not be thinking clearly or he most important steps to follow directly after an accident:
1. If it is safe, do not leave the scene of the accident or move anything that is not causing you immediate harm.
2. Protect the scene, or have someone else help if you are not physically able.
3. In the case of a vehicle accident, keep your flashers on to prevent other cars from entering the scene or hitting you.
4. Call 911 to report the accident and any injuries that occurred. Your insurance company will most likely require police reports, so make sure to talk to an officer when they arrive.
5. Discuss the details of the accident as accurately as you can. Try to get other witnesses to make statements about what they saw as well. This could greatly help your case.
6. Take pictures of the scene to submit with your claim. Make sure to get photos of the car, the scene, and the injuries.
7. Seek medical attention for any injuries, no matter how minor. Your insurance company will need your medical records as proof that you were injured in the accident.
8. If your accident occurs at a hospital or medical center, make sure a loved one is present to help you gather the evidence you need for your case. Preparing to have a loved one with you before a procedure or surgery is a good step to take just in case.
9. Before you contact your insurance company, consult with a personal injury attorney immediately to protect your rights. Insurance companies often want you to report an accident within the first 24-hours and may require a statement. You want to make sure you are fully advised on your legal rights before this occurs to avoid pitfalls that could hurt your claim.
New York City and Long Island Accident Attorneys
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving clients across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process using past experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343, or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.