Now we’re in the midst of Canadian wintertime, we see a sharp rise in things like car accidents and slip and fall accidents. Why? Because icy, treacherous conditions coast-to-coast often mean pedestrians and other road users experience heightened dangers. But what if you’re the victim of an accident like this, this season?
Chances are you’ll want to file a personal injury claim to recover damages for your injury because of the negligence of another. That’s fair enough but before you proceed in holding a negligent party responsible, it’s important you understand the importance of personal injury evidence, especially if you require a court case. The type of claim that goes to court is one that usually has a lot of liability issues, multiple defendants, and severe injury.
This blog will educate you about physical and non-physical evidence, and how important they both are. After all, they hold the key to you successfully recovering the personal injury compensation you deserve.
What forms of personal injury evidence exist?
After an experienced personal injury lawyer like De Rose has agreed to work on your case, it’s their responsibility to gather all personal injury evidence. First and foremost, evidence in personal injury cases generally falls into two distinct categories:
- Physical evidence
- Non-physical evidence
When personal injury cases are heard in a court of law, both types of evidence are presented to a jury. Ultimately, they serve as the basis behind whether or not your physical or psychological harm was the fault of another’s negligence.
What constitutes physical evidence? Do photographs count?
As the title suggests, physical evidence, also referred to as pertinent evidence, is evidence that can be seen or touched by members of the jury. Importantly, this includes photographs. Since physical evidence cannot always be preserved properly or actually presented within a courtroom itself, photographs usually depict physical injuries and wounds incurred by the plaintiff, or the severity and extent of a situation causing the personal injury.
For example, if there are skid marks on a highway, this may suggest an attempt to avert another road user. Similarly, if the jury sees imagery of a damaged car, they can understand the extent of the impact. Sometimes, clothing is also used as evidence, especially if it is torn or bloodied as a result of a collision.
In our experience, clients should only take photographs of their own injuries and that alone. Regarding vehicle damage, we often rely on images from the insurance company’s appraisal report. It’s important to note that photographs of any wounds should be taken pre-treatment also.
The importance of preserving physical evidence
Ultimately, taking photographs in the immediate aftermath and at the precise location of an accident is imperative. Evidence like this is incredibly impactful in order to convince a jury that the defendant caused you to suffer injuries. Remember that physical evidence can get lost or altered by time too. For example, when the blood on a piece of clothing dries in the days thereafter. Therefore, preserving or taking accurate pictures of such personal injury evidence, exactly as it was at the time of the accident, is key. When you are collecting important physical evidence, it’s your job to preserve it in an accurate state, free from interference. Things like USB flash drives are commonly used to store photography and video from an accident scene.
Never flee the accident scene too quickly
Elsewhere, if you’re an accident victim, you should never flee the scene too quickly. What you do in the time period right after an accident is super important in winning your personal injury case down the line.
Chances are you’ll be in a state of shock, panic or anxiety at the scene. However, by taking as many photographs as possible, you’ll be able to review them and select the most accurate depictions of your accident at a later stage and in a calmer state of mind.
Nevertheless, we understand that it can sometimes be difficult for clients to take pictures at the scene of their serious personal injury. Usually, an ambulance will be on location swiftly leaving little time to document what’s required. When this happens, we often rely on testimony and police reports discussed in the next section.
What constitutes non-physical evidence?
Besides physical evidence, there’s non-physical evidence too. In other words, this type of evidence revolves around facts or testimony as heard by a jury. Firstly, there are many different types of factual information that can be presented in court. For example, things like police reports, medical bills and health records from a family doctor.
The importance of quickly seeking medical attention
As our previous blog on litigating your slip and fall case mentioned, this is why it’s so important to seek medical attention in the immediate aftermath of any personal injury. This way, your doctor or practitioner can properly document your injuries, providing you concrete non-physical evidence in turn. Besides everything factual, testimony has a big role to play too. This is why it’s vital to collect the contact details of any bystanders or onlookers right after personal injuries take place. It’s an experienced personal injury lawyer’s job to call the right witnesses to court in order to substantiate that the plaintiff’s harm was the fault of the defendant.
Testimony and the role of expert and everyday witnesses
Lastly, witnesses don’t simply have to be bystanders either. Oftentimes, witnesses can be subject matter experts or anybody deemed relevant and worthy enough to corroborate the plaintiff’s personal injury claim, swaying the jury in their favour. Where possible, you should consider calling a mixture of expert and everyday witnesses to the stand. This way, you stand the best possible chance of winning your personal injury case.
How much personal injury evidence should I generate for my case?
In short, there’s no limit to how much evidence you can generate for your personal injury case. Ultimately, the more you have, the better. However, it’s important to note that evidence should always be gathered carefully. It should only curated if it is permissible in court and genuinely considered valuable in winning your case.
Why choose De Rose personal injury lawyers?
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious personal injury because of another’s negligence, don’t suffer in silence. Contact De Rose Lawyers today.
With over 40 years of combined experience, De Rose Lawyers will guide you through the complex legal, medical and insurance issues, allowing you to focus on your rehabilitation and recovery. We’ll help you navigate the legal process to make sure you are fairly compensated.
We work tirelessly and passionately for each and every one of our clients, earning us a sterling reputation among the legal community. We empower our clients by providing them with flexible appointments, affordable legal fees, valuable tools and information every step of the way.