If you file a legal claim in Kansas City, it will be your burden to prove the defendant’s fault for your injuries and damages in a personal injury case. The legal burden of proof always falls to the plaintiff in a civil case. You do not have as strict a burden of proof as during a criminal case. Rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt, you must only prove your case is more likely to be true than untrue. Winning your personal injury case, however, will require a demonstration of key evidence.
How Can Photos Help My Personal Injury Case?
Evidence collection is largely a task completed by attorneys and investigators if you hire a Kansas City personal injury attorney to handle your case. Professional lawyers have resources and connections to make accident investigation and evidence collection easier for you. As the injured victim, however, you can help with evidence gathering while still at the scene of the accident. If you are well and able, collect information about the accident.
- The names of others involved
- The names of eyewitnesses
- Witness contact information
- Insurance information
- Date, time and location
- Police report number
Photographs are the most important type of evidence to collect at the scene of an accident. Pictures and videos can provide undeniable proof of fault. Photographic evidence can prove that a condition existed the way you describe it, such as a dangerous property defect or vehicle damages. Photos can also help investigators and reconstructionists piece together how the accident happened to demonstrate fault to a judge or jury. Take photos at the scene of the accident and your injuries from different angles. Shoot a video as well, if possible. Turn on the date feature to capture the date and time on the digital file.
Should I See a Doctor After an Injury?
Once you leave the scene of an accident, your ability to collect evidence continues. It is critical to your personal injury case to see a doctor immediately after an injury. Delaying medical care can paint you as a plaintiff whose injuries were not serious, or who contributed to the severity of injuries by not seeing a doctor right away. Both can diminish the value of your claim and make it more difficult to recover. Some injuries have hidden symptoms. Visit a hospital after an accident even if you feel fine.
Document your medical journey as you undergo tests and treatments. The insurance company receiving your claim will want to see evidence of your injuries and medical bills. Keep copies of evidence such as test results, diagnostic statements, treatment plans, prescriptions, bills, notices from your health insurance company and letters from your physician. Medical records, documents and x-rays can help you prove the extent and type of injury you have, as well as how long your injury will take you out of work. If you wish to file a lost wage claim, keep copies of your pay stubs and letters from your employer as well.
What Other Evidence Should I Collect?
A large part of many personal injury judgment awards is pain and suffering damages. Pain and suffering describes your intangible losses, such as physical pain, emotional distress, psychological damage, lost quality of life, inconvenience and humiliation. It is up to a jury how much money to award a plaintiff in pain and suffering compensation. You can help your case by keeping an injury journal.
Starting as soon after your accident as possible, write down the details of your personal injuries. Document everything you are feeling and experiencing in writing. Describe your physical pain, emotional suffering and how your injury has impacted your life. An injury journal is something your lawyer can use as evidence to help you obtain a fair and full pain and suffering award. If you need assistance collecting evidence for a personal injury claim in Kansas City, contact an attorney near you.