What Kind of Evidence Do I Need in a California Car Accident Injury Case?
If you are approaching a personal injury claim or lawsuit in California, it might seem like there are a million different things you need to worry about. The first priority is obviously your health. You need to immediately get the necessary treatment for your injuries and ensure that you can recover in a timely manner. Next, you will need to tackle the legal aspect of your injury claim. This is not always easy, especially if you have no idea how a personal injury case works in California.
Your first step should be to connect with a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney in California. These legal experts can guide you through the entire process, explaining any confusing concepts along the way. They can also help you prove that your injuries are legitimate and that you deserve an adequate, fair level of compensation as a result. If you are serious about achieving a positive legal outcome, it makes sense to consult with the best personal injury attorney you can find in California, and one who is specifically experienced with car accidents.
There are many steps you need to think about when going through a personal injury case, but one of the key factors is evidence. Without strong evidence, you will not stand much of a chance of getting the settlement you deserve. While your attorney will work diligently to gather evidence and investigate your situation, you should also do your part if you want to raise your chances of success. Follow this guide, and you can approach the evidence-gathering process in an efficient manner.
Why Evidence is Important
Evidence is important for a number of reasons in a car accident injury case. When you are on the road, it is often difficult to establish who was at fault for your injury. You might have been on an empty road with no witnesses. Alternatively, both drivers might argue that the other caused the accident. Even if other people saw the incident, they might be unwilling to act as witnesses. In situations such as these when it is simply one person’s word against the other’s, evidence is crucial.
California is a “pure comparative negligence state,” which means that you can still file an injury claim even if you were 99% at fault for your own injuries. Other states can prevent plaintiffs from filing claims, even if they are 51% at fault for their own injuries. Evidence also plays a role in determining the exact degree of fault for each party. The difference between 40% and 50% can be massive, especially if a seven-figure settlement is on the line. 10% of $1 million is $100,000, after all.
Evidence is also important in the specific context of your injuries. Even if you establish that someone else was at fault for your car accident injuries, you still need to prove that you actually suffered injuries during the crash or collision. Medical evidence not only shows the court that your injuries are real, but it also shows them how severe your damages are, and the exact cost of your treatment.
Collecting Evidence From the Scene of the Accident
The first logical time to collect evidence is directly after the accident occurs. This is actually the best time to collect evidence, since you can show the court the exact circumstances of the incident immediately after the crash. That being said, collecting evidence after a serious injury is not exactly easy. You might have been incapacitated due to the collision. You might have been rendered unconscious.
With these considerations in mind, you should do your best to take the following steps after a collision: Call 9-11; Check on the well-being of everyone involved; Obtain the names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, plate numbers, and insurance information of everyone involved in the crash; Approach witnesses and ask them for their names and contact information; Use your phone to take pictures of the scene. Try to capture the positions of all cars involved, the damage to each car, and any other factors that you think are relevant. If you can, take a picture of your own injuries; Look for skid marks, debris, and traffic signs that may have been disobeyed and if you can, take statements of witnesses and other drivers.
Collecting Medical Evidence
Collecting medical evidence after suffering injuries in a car accident is important. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to get the medical attention you need as soon as possible. Do not try to be a hero and “shrug off” any potential injuries. You never know how bad injuries truly are until you are seen by a medical professional. In addition, injuries that seem minor today could develop into serious problems within weeks or even years.
When you start receiving medical treatment, make sure that you inform healthcare providers that you have been involved in a car accident. In terms of collecting evidence, try to do the following as you receive treatment: Keep a journal that details all of your healthcare appointments. Note the names of the specialists you see, the type of treatment you receive, and any costs you might have incurred; Ask for detailed copies of your medical records. These are very important pieces of evidence in personal injury cases; Make sure to get a copy of diagnostic images if relevant, such as X-rays or MRIs; Collect all of your medical bills and take note of exactly how much time you have missed from work as a result of your injuries. Get a doctor’s note that clearly states you were incapable of working during this period. This evidence will help you get compensation for lost or missed wages.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been searching California for a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney you can trust, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. This firm has been representing car accident victims in the San Francisco area for years, and they know exactly how to help innocent individuals get the compensation they deserve for their damages. Reach out today and book a consultation so we can develop an action plan together. No one should have to deal with injuries caused by a negligent driver without receiving a fair and adequate settlement amount.