Types Of Evidence In A Personal Injury Claim
Evidence in a personal injury claim can be classified into two categories: physical evidence and non-physical evidence. Both can be crucial to your case, and helpful to demonstrate to the jury the harm you have suffered and the costs you have endured.Physical Evidence
Physical evidence refers to evidence that is tangible, and can be seen and physically understood by the jury. Physical evidence can be particularly impactful because it allows the jury to actually see and observe what happened. Physical evidence can manifest itself in a few different forms.
- Tangible Evidence: "Tangible" evidence can refer to things that the jury can have direct interaction with. This can include things like wrecked vehicles, or a recovery scar. These are things that the jury can observe to gain a sensory impression of the incident and its effects.
- Photographs: Sometimes, physical evidence cannot be wholly preserved. It may be necessary to document the evidence in photographic form. Commonly photographed evidence can include the immediate scene of your injury, your initial injuries, and your medical operations. If the original scenes or injuries are unavailable for presentation, photographs can help provide the jury with an idea of what happened and how you were affected.
Non-physical evidence is meant to be presented as information or testimony to the jury. This information is usually factual or testimonial in nature, and intended to be presented to the jury to have them draw the intended conclusions from the evidence presented. Non-physical evidence often makes up the bulk of a case, as access to physical evidence may be limited.
- Police Reports: The police report from an accident or injury is the accepted factual, official and unbiased report about what transpired that day. Police reports can be used to your advantage, particularly in cases where the defendant was issued a ticket or violation.
- Testimony: Testimony is the term used to describe the information presented by witnesses on the stand. There are two types of witnesses: normal witnesses and expert witnesses. Normal witnesses can attest to what happened at the scene, while expert witnesses are asked to the stand to present an expert opinion on a piece of evidence or information.
- Depositions: Depositions are preliminary testimony statements delivered by witnesses under oath, but outside of the courtroom, without cross-examination. Depositions are mostly used to bring out the facts of the case prior to the trial. These statements are typically recorded.
- Medical Bills: Medical bills should be introduced to show the extensive financial impact of your injuries. Hospital stays, prescription drugs, and extended care visits are not cheap. These can be used to show the jury what amounts for damages are appropriate.
- Medical Records: Medical records go into extensive detail about your injuries. Relevant medical records can be things like x-rays, surgical records, or lab test results. These will show the jury the hard, medical science behind your injuries, and any possible long term effects of them. Typically these records are not provided to anyone but you, however, with power of attorney, your attorney may be able to gather them for you.
When it comes time to gather evidence for a case, there are several ways to approach the process. Evidence can be gathered in a number of ways, however, not all of the evidence will be permissible in the courtroom. Regardless of what is permissible, when you first begin your case, you will want to come to your attorney with as much information as possible. Once your case begins, your attorney will help you with gathering evidence and sorting out what may or may not be allowed in court.What To Bring To Your Attorney
Most evidence in a personal injury case is obtained through the investigation and discovery phases, however, there are some things that you can initially bring to your attorney to help kick start the case. If you have any photographs or videos of the incident, or know of any potential witnesses, these things can help your case get a head start when your attorney begins investigating.Investigation
Investigation can be done by either your attorney, or a hired private investigator. During the investigation phase, your attorney or a designated investigator will delve deeper into the facts of the case. Facts will come to light, and be introduced into the court record. During this time, there may be brief admissibility hearings to decide if the evidence will be allowed to be considered in court.Discovery
Discovery is the term that describes the process where the defense and plaintiff reveal their evidence and legal strategies to one another prior to moving to the courtroom. This give you and your attorney an opportunity to review all evidence of the case and prepare for a trial.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else's negligence, you will want the help of a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney. Don't let your injuries go without fair and proper compensation. Contact the personal injury legal team at Tenn And Tenn today.