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Keys To Clarity

A person wearing black gloves writes on a legal paper - Lamb & Frischer Law FirmEvidence Used In A Personal Injury Claim

Like any type of case, evidence plays a massively important role in personal injury cases. It shapes the dynamics and outcomes significantly, perhaps the most of any aspect of a case. While certain types of evidence can fortify a case, others may inadvertently weaken it:

Evidence That May Hurt A Case:

  • Surveillance or Sub Rosa Video

Even if video captures activities the client admits to doing, it may portray them in a negative light, potentially undermining their claims, especially if they merely appear to be exceeding medical recommendations or engaging in activities inconsistent with their reported injuries. This can be something as simple as riding a mountain bike as opposed to a less let’s-go-out-for-an-intense-bike-ride-looking bike, even if your doctor instructed you to do some light exercise.

  • Missing Doctor Appointments

Failure to attend scheduled medical appointments can be detrimental to the case as it creates gaps in the medical record, making it difficult to establish the extent and ongoing effects of the injury.

Evidence That May Help A Case

  • Factual Documentation Of The Incident

Gathering detailed accounts and evidence of how the incident unfolded can strengthen the client’s narrative and support their claims of liability.

  • Diagnostic Medical Tests

Objective medical evidence such as MRIs can provide clear documentation of the client’s injuries, validating their claims and establishing the extent of their damages.

  • Video Evidence

Dash cams, surveillance footage from businesses or residences, and built-in vehicle cameras can provide crucial visual evidence of the accident’s circumstances. However, promptly obtaining this evidence is essential as it may be deleted or overwritten relatively soon.

Securing and preserving relevant evidence early in your case is critical for building a strong foundation and maximizing the chances of a favorable outcome. An experienced personal injury attorney will do this for you.

The Impact Of Fault On Personal Injury Cases

In personal injury cases, being found at fault, even if only partially, can significantly impact the outcome of your case, altering the amount of damages you are awarded. Personal injury cases, especially car accidents, commonly involve scenarios where the injured person shares some degree of fault. However, this doesn’t necessarily deter pursuing the case, as significant recovery can still be possible even if the injured person bears partial responsibility. This is especially true when cases are exceptionally large.

In some cases, even if the injured person is partially at fault, it may still be viable to proceed with the case, especially if there are other liable parties involved. For instance, if there’s a defect in the street contributing to the accident or if the car’s safety mechanisms fail despite the injured person’s fault in the accident, other parties like the county or the car manufacturer may be held primarily responsible for the injuries.

If a jury determines that the injured party is partially at fault for the accident, the damages awarded to the plaintiff are reduced proportionally to their degree of fault. For example, if the injured person is found to be 20% at fault, their awarded damages will be reduced by 20%.

While being found at fault can impact the outcome of your cases, it’s not necessarily a deterrent to pursuing legal action, especially if other liable parties are involved. Each case truly is unique and requires careful examination of the circumstances to determine the best course of action for pursuing compensation and justice for the injured party.

Dealing With An Underinsured Or Uninsured Driver

Handling personal injury cases where the other party is underinsured or uninsured is a challenging undertaking. We generally advise, in instances where the person doesn’t own property, to file your own lawsuit. This is simply because hiring an attorney realistically won’t make any difference in terms of offsetting the fact that you won’t be able to recover anything.

There is one exception to this, however. If you have underinsured or uninsured motorist insurance, it will kick in if someone else is at fault but doesn’t have sufficient (or any) insurance. If you remember anything from this book, make it this. If you don’t have uninsured motorist insurance, you could get some right now. It will be reasonably affordable. It’s the best way to protect yourself if you were to get in a car accident with someone who doesn’t have sufficient (or any) insurance.

Seeking Medical Attention

Seeking medical care as soon as reasonably possible after an incident that leaves you injured is incredibly important. If you don’t see a doctor within three days to a week of the incident, chances are the defendant will claim that your injury was caused by something other than the incident. Having this gap in initial diagnosis and care makes things very hard to disprove or overcome. More specifically, the problem arises later in your claim when you don’t have any record of the injury, let alone an ability to tie it to the incident.

The mindset of a typical jury member is, If you’re hurt, it would follow that you’d go see the doctor as soon as possible. Maybe not overwhelming our medical system is the right thing to think about this from a larger societal perspective, but at the same time, you simply need the evidence. As natural as it might be for you not to rush off to a doctor right away if you’re like so many others, you need to fight against this disposition and do so as soon as you can.

When you do, give the doctor as much detail as you can. Describe the pain, where it exists, and how long it has persisted. It’s easy to ignore some minor symptom that may get worse later so it’s important to get it documented right away.

For more information on Evidence Used In A Personal Injury Claim, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 966-4471 today.

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