The last thing you’re likely to think about after sustaining injuries in an accident is gathering evidence. Although your recovery should be your primary concern, it’s important to think about evidentiary matters soon after the injury occurs. Part of getting the compensation you need to make a complete recovery involves preparing evidence to prove your assertions that the other party was responsible for your injuries.
Whether you are dealing directly with insurance companies or taking your claim all the way to court, gathering, preserving, and presenting admissible evidence is a crucial part of finding success. Here’s what to consider about the types of evidence you will need for a personal injury case.
The purpose of the legal system is to do justice. That is, when someone else hurts you, the goal of the Florida justice system is to allow you to recover for your losses. The judicial system also wants to ensure people who haven’t done anything wrong don’t pay unfairly.
This consideration is the reason why evidence is so important. To win your case, you must prove to the jury that your version of events is what actually happened. You have to demonstrate that it’s more likely than not that the other party caused your injuries. The jury isn’t going to take your word for it. Instead, they’re going to look at the evidence. That makes it extremely important to collect and preserve evidence to prove every part of your claim.
The first thing you have to do when you’re trying to prove a personal injury case is show that an injury occurred and that the other party caused it. To do this, you usually rely on a combination of witness testimony and other pieces of evidence.
An eyewitness is a person that observes the accident or its aftermath, which may include a bystander. They might testify to seeing a person run a stop sign in a car accident case, or they might testify to the water that was present on a floor before you slipped. You can also testify as an eyewitness. The other party can even be a major witness in some circumstances.
An expert is a person who has unique skills and knowledge that allows them to look at the evidence and give an opinion about what likely occurred. You may use an expert witness to prove that the other side is responsible for your injuries.
An accident reconstruction expert might be helpful. This is a person who has training in evaluating accidents. They can look at photos of the crash and the scene and offer an expert opinion about how the damage occurred and why the other party is responsible for your injuries.
Other types of evidence might be useful to prove fault. Photographs of the crash scene might be helpful to show where the impact occurred. Recordings of emergency phone calls might contain helpful admissions. This type of evidence can corroborate witness testimony
After you’ve established that the other party caused your injuries, you have to be able to show what your damages are. This means demonstrating the extent of your injuries and their cost. You can testify about your own observations of your injuries and pain and suffering, but you’ll need other evidence to win your case.
In most cases, your physician can testify about the extent of your injuries. They can talk about your current injuries and the challenges you’re likely to face in the future. They can tell the jury about your prognosis for recovery. In addition to a medical expert, you may work with an accountant to explain the financial side of the case to the jury, or your attorney might present this information to the jury.
When you work to prepare your case, it’s important to keep in mind that the evidence you gather must be admissible in court. Florida uses the Florida Evidence Code to govern how to admit evidence at trial. If your evidence isn’t admissible under the rules, the other side can ask the court to exclude it from the jury’s consideration.
One example of inadmissible evidence is hearsay. This legal term is used to describe any statement made by a person other than the sworn witness, offered to prove the truth of the matter in question. For example, if a bystander to the accident tells you one month later that they saw the other party run a stop sign, this statement by itself isn’t admissible in court.
Of course, there are some exceptions. If the person makes the statement at a deposition, it may be admissible. Also, if the other party makes a statement outside of court, it may be admissible. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you better understand if the evidence you are planning to use in court is admissible.
The hearsay rule is just one example. All types of evidence have rules that govern their admissibility in court. It’s critical to discover, preserve, and gather evidence in a way that’s going to allow you to present it to the jury.
The sooner you hire an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer to help advocate for you, the sooner they can take steps to preserve evidence on your behalf. This might be a simple matter of gathering witness statements before memories start to fade. It might involve conducting depositions so witnesses can’t change their stories.
If the other side might try to destroy evidence, your attorney can help you serve them with a written demand to preserve evidence. This is also called a spoliation of evidence letter. If the other side destroys evidence after you’ve told them not to, the court can penalize them for it. They can also inform the jury that they can assume the destroyed evidence would have been favorable to your case.
If you have sustained injuries after an accident, and need help gathering the evidence necessary to prove your case contact Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys today. Jack Bernstein and his skilled legal team possess a strong understanding of the details conveyed in the Florida Evidence Code, and how it can be used to prepare a strong case. Don’t take the chance of not getting the compensation you deserve because of weak evidence, call (813) 333-6666 to schedule your free consultation today.