In personal injury cases, evidence is essential to prove liability and damages. Evidence comes in many forms, including physical and expert witness testimony.
Physical evidence, like skid marks on a road or an injury scar, can help paint a picture of how an accident happened. It can also serve as detailed proof, bolstering an eyewitness’ statement.
Medical records are the most crucial form of hard evidence in personal injury cases. Without them, it can be extremely challenging to prove that an accident victim suffered injuries and, therefore, should receive compensation.
They provide concrete proof of an accident victim’s injuries, including treatment plans, diagnoses, prescriptions, physician follow-up recommendations, out-of-pocket expenses, and more. They also establish the extent of an accident victim’s damages, including their out-of-pocket medical expenses, loss of income from missing work due to their injuries, and any permanent or lasting disabilities.
They serve as the first building block of a claim for damages and help attorneys build a factual basis to support their client’s claims for monetary compensation. They can also be used to demonstrate that an accident victim’s injuries result from someone else’s negligent actions or inaction, making it harder for the defendant and their insurance company to dispute the claim’s validity. Medical records can also be valuable circumstantial evidence in the case.
In personal injury cases, expert witnesses can help provide technical or scientific information that may be outside the scope of knowledge of a judge or jury. These individuals can also help simplify complex issues and theories to make them more understandable for non-experts.
Examples of expert witnesses who can support your case include economists for calculating lost wages, vocational rehabilitation experts for future loss of earnings, and a psychologist or psychiatrist to testify about the psychological impact on your quality of life. Your attorney can help identify the appropriate expert witnesses for your specific case. Visit https://wilklawfirm.com to learn more.
For example, in car accident cases, accident reconstruction specialists can provide an opinion on how an accident occurred, the types and magnitude of damages sustained, and several other important details. These professionals often accomplish their tasks by developing models that can be presented in court. These models are essential to your claim for compensation. Without them, your opponent could argue that your injuries are less severe than you claim.
Police reports are an essential part of any personal injury case. Usually prepared shortly after an accident, they provide timeliness and accuracy compared to your recollection of events. Additionally, they contain valuable information about witnesses and other evidence that can strengthen your claim.
Generally, police reports are admissible in court, and insurance companies tend to rely heavily on them to determine liability. An unfavorable report can significantly impede your recovery of damages for injuries and losses.
However, it is essential to keep in mind that police reports often contain both facts and opinions. For instance, the time, weather conditions, and location of a crash are facts; however, fault determinations (i.e., who caused the accident) are officers’ opinions. Your lawyer can help you overcome the problems arising from an inaccurate police report by presenting other evidence. This might include expert testimonies, witness statements, or video footage.
Witness testimony is one of the most critical pieces of evidence in a personal injury case. This can include eyewitness testimony from people who saw the accident, including family members, friends, coworkers, or bystanders. The critical thing with eyewitness testimony is to be credible and believable. The problem is that humans tend to remember things differently than what happened, so it is sometimes easy for a witness’s testimony to be discredited.
Expert witnesses are also often used to help support a claim. These might be doctors, nurses, or other professionals who can testify about the severity of a victim’s injuries and their long-term prognosis, as well as mental health experts who can help explain the emotional impact of the injury on the victim. This type of testimony is often critical to establishing non-economic damages like pain and suffering, as it can help the jury understand what the victim was like before the accident and what they are now like as a result.