An experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer knows how to negotiate with insurance adjusters and obtain a fair settlement to compensate you for injuries and economic damages. But knowledge of the law and your side of the story are not enough to win your claim.
Your attorney also needs solid evidence to:
- Prove that the other party was at fault (as Pennsylvania uses the comparative negligence principle in personal injury cases)
- Show that you suffered injuries and economic damages in the respective accident
- Justify the amount of your damages.
Here are tips on types of evidence to collect and preserve evidence to help a lawyer win your case.
1. Photographic Evidence of the Accident Scene
A picture is worth 1,000 words and represents reliable evidence of how you suffered your accident. Whether it was a car crash or a slip and fall in a supermarket, you should take photos of the area, focusing on any relevant detail.
You should also photograph your own injuries, as well as the property damage you suffered, such as:
- Wrecked car
- Damaged jewelry
- Broken smartwatch.
To make your evidence more reliable, set your mobile phone camera to add the date and time to the photos. This will help a lawyer prove not just where, but also when the accident happened.
2. Your Own Experience of the Events
The most recent description of the accident is the most reliable. This is when every detail is fresh in your memory. Thus, you should write down or record yourself describing how the accident happened.
Look around and describe anything that draws your attention and that may have played a role in the accident. For instance, in the case of a car crash, debris or potholes could have caused the other driver to lose control of the vehicle.
Poor lighting in a parking area may have prevented you from noticing a slippery surface, causing your slip and fall accident.
3. Eyewitness Statements
A Philadelphia personal injury attorney knows that an insurance adjuster will try to claim that you are exaggerating the circumstances of the accident and your injuries. However, they have no reason to disbelieve an unrelated third party who saw what happened.
This is why eyewitness statements are so valuable. Make sure to obtain recorded statements immediately after the accident and get the witnesses’ contact details. Your lawyer may need to obtain formal statements from them later on.
4. CCTV Camera Footage
Many accidents are captured by public or privately owned CCTV cameras. You should look around you to identify them and tell your attorney about their existence. A legal professional has the right to request footage from the camera owners in order to use it as evidence in your case.
Since this footage is deleted on a regular basis, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Thus, the attorney will have time to obtain this valuable evidence before it is lost forever.
5. Bills and Receipts for Accident Related Expenses
Do not throw away any bills and receipts for expenses related to your accident. This includes:
- Ambulance ride cost
- Hospital bills
- Taxi fares to take you to and from treatments
- Costs of therapies and prescription medication
- Estimates for repairing or replacing damaged property.
Also, obtain copies of your last 3 – 5 pay slips from your employer, to help your lawyer calculate your average wages. This amount will be used to establish damages for lost wages and loss of earning capacity (if you are left with a permanent disability or impairment).
6. Keep a Journal Detailing How the Accident Affected You
An accident does not cause only physical injuries, but also emotional trauma. This is why a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will add non-economic damages to your claim, to compensate you for pain and suffering.
You can help your lawyer by keeping a journal where you write how you feel. Mention anything relevant, such as:
- Recurring nightmares
- Triggers (images, noises, etc.)
- Feeling fear, powerlessness, and depression
- The intensity of physical pain caused by your injuries.
Bring Your Evidence to an Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer!
If you were injured by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to obtain compensation for your damages. To do so, collect the types of evidence presented here, and bring them to an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.
We offer each new client a free case review, so call us now to start building your case: 267-314-8024!