Personal injury claims are usually never straightforward or simple. Insurance companies routinely try to find ways to reduce or deny their liability altogether. Journaling your injuries and maintaining proper documents, including medical reports, hospital bills, and expense receipts for injuries suffered can help in achieving successful results in an injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence and prepare a strong claim for maximum compensation.
Hard Evidence is Required in a Personal Injury Claim in California
Your personal injury claim will likely not be taken seriously without proper evidence. The burden to prove fault falls on the claimant under California tort law. You will also need to prove that the negligent actions of the defendant directly led to your accident and subsequent damages. To get the compensation you deserve, you will need to find solid evidence that backs up your assertions.
The quality of evidence submitted is more important than the quantity of evidence. Documentation allows for maintaining accurate records in a personal injury claim. Hospital records, police reports, medical records, pay stubs, witness statements, expert testimony, accident reconstruction reports, and other documents are common forms of evidence used in personal injury lawsuits. Always save any receipts you obtain for medical expenses and fixing property damage.
Meticulous Documentation is Necessary to Show Fault
In California, the burden of proof in a personal injury claim lies with the plaintiff. Whether you want to make your claim in court or negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, you need to find persuasive evidence for the following:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- This duty of care was breached by the defendant.
- The breach of duty and negligent actions resulted in an injury.
- You suffered quantifiable losses and damages because of the injury.
Proving the defendant owed you a duty of care may be straightforward. Almost everyone has a duty to act in a reasonable manner and to avoid harming the other person. Doctors, commercial establishments, and other entities have more focused duties.
Proving any remaining elements will depend on the type of available evidence. This is where documentation becomes necessary. You should maintain adequate records of your injuries, treatment, recovery, and damages. In particular, courts ask for extensive medical records and bills.
Types of Documentation You Should Preserve to Prove Liability
You need to save all receipts and maintain necessary records of everything that can affect your personal injury lawsuit. Write down the details of your accident after getting immediate medical attention. Make sure to get all the facts down. You should do this only when you are in the right frame of mind. Depending on the type of accident, you may need to mention a few pertinent details. For instance, if you were in a car accident, your written report should include the following details:
- Place you were headed to.
- What were you doing when the accident took place?
- Time of the accident.
- Other occupants in the car.
- Weather and road conditions.
Write extensive details of what you saw, felt, and heard. You may not remember these later. The tiniest detail can sometimes sway an insurance company to settle for a more substantial amount. Don’t forget to recount your psychological trauma in the journal.
Seasoned personal injury attorneys will try and obtain financial compensation for your psychological, emotional, and mental discomfort. You should maintain notes of any recurring or chronic pain and how it has impacted your quality of life. The human brain tries hard to forget the pain and other uncomfortable memories. Personal injury claims can take months and years to settle. You cannot rely on your memories. You need to recount the events in a diary.
Personal injury victims can sue a defendant for both economic and non-economic damages. Medical expenses, lost wages, lost opportunity to work, pain and suffering, and psychological trauma are a few components to include while calculating an accurate settlement amount. However, you need to make sure that you have proper evidence.
Importance of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer to Hold the Negligent Parties Liable
Proof of negligence is the backbone of any personal injury claim. Documentation and maintaining necessary records will improve the likelihood of obtaining a favorable outcome. It is also important to submit the personal injury claim within the statutes of limitations. An experienced personal injury attorney will make sure that you file the claim in the proper format with the necessary documents.
They will also help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim. Personal injury claims backed by reputable law firms are almost always taken more seriously by insurance companies. Insurers know that if they don’t offer a fair settlement value, your attorneys will not hesitate in taking the claim to court.
Talk to a Skilled and Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney in California – Book Your Free Consultation Today
At Garmo & Garmo, LLP, our capable and proven personal injury attorneys have helped numerous injured victims get the compensation they deserve. Our decades of experience combined with deep legal knowledge and vast resources place us in a strong position to obtain favorable results. To schedule your free case review with our lawyers today, call us at 619-441-2500 or contact us online.