When you file a personal injury claim, you have the burden of proving the other party caused your injury. You must have sufficient evidence to establish the legal elements for a negligence or tort claim. Otherwise, you cannot recover compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.
What Types of Evidence Are Admissible in a Personal Injury Case?
The Maryland Rules of Evidence and case law determine what evidence is admissible in court. The types of evidence generally presented during a civil trial include:
- Documentary evidence – This refers to any type of document, including photographs, videos, written documents, electronic documents, and audio recordings.
- Testimony – Testimony from the parties to the action, eyewitnesses, expert witnesses, financial professionals, accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, and other individuals with information relevant to the case.
- Physical evidence – This includes any tangible object related to the allegations or the defense of the allegations.
- Circumstantial evidence – Evidence that implies an alleged matter is a fact because there is no other reasonable explanation. Circumstantial evidence may include physical and documentary evidence. It may also be supported by testimony.
- Hearsay evidence – The rules generally do not allow hearsay evidence during a trial. Hearsay evidence is something a person heard outside of the courtroom that cannot be corroborated by other evidence.
A personal injury lawyer investigates the cause of your injury to gather evidence proving the other party is responsible for your damages. Attorneys also gather evidence during the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit.
Examples of Evidence in a Personal Injury Case
The evidence in a personal injury case may include, but is not limited to:
Accident Reports or Police Reports
Police and accident reports are common in car accident cases. The crash report provides details gathered at the accident scene by law enforcement officers investigating the car crash.
The report indicates whether anyone sustained injuries, whether a driver was cited for a traffic infraction, and other statements useful in proving causation and fault. Your personal injury attorney obtains a copy of the accident report during the initial case investigation.
You must prove that you sustained injuries because of the accident or the other party’s conduct. Your medical records and medical bills help establish a link between the at-fault party’s acts or omissions and your physical injuries.
Medical records that might be presented as evidence of injuries and damages include, but are not limited to:
- Ambulance records
- Hospital records
- Records from your primary physician, therapists, and other medical providers
- Psychological records
- Receipts of payment and medical bills
- Lab reports and other diagnostic test results
- Emergency room records
It is crucial to seek prompt medical attention after an accident or other injury. Also, do not sign a medical records release without talking with a lawyer. The insurance company may try to use pre-existing conditions against you that have nothing to do with your accident.
Photographs and Videos
Photographs and videos where the accident occurred can be valuable pieces of evidence in a personal injury case. Make a video and take photos of the accident scene immediately after your injury.
Also, take pictures of your injuries during your recovery. Medical records explain your injuries. Photographs can help jurors understand the severity of your injuries and how you suffered during your recovery.
A claim for lost wages requires you to prove the income you lost because of an accident or personal injury. Generally, you need employment records proving how much you earned before the injury. Then, your attorney uses those records to prove how much income you would have earned had you not been injured.
Additionally, you need a doctor’s statement explaining how your injuries prevented you from working. If you sustained permanent impairments, your attorney might use employment records and other evidence to prove a claim for diminished earning capacity and future lost wages.
Witness Testimony and Statements
Eyewitness testimony can be a critical piece of evidence in a personal injury case. An insurance company or jury may give more weight to eyewitness testimony because the eyewitness does not have a stake in the outcome of the case.
If possible, ask bystanders and eyewitnesses for their names and contact information. Unfortunately, the police officers investigating the accident may not speak to all witnesses or gather the information for the accident report.
Pain and Suffering Journal
In addition to your economic damages, you can recover compensation for your non-economic damages or “pain and suffering.” However, pain and suffering damages can be difficult to prove.
Keeping a journal detailing your recovery can help your attorney provide a compelling narrative to help insurance adjusters and jurors understand the suffering you experienced. Make notes about the activities you cannot perform because of your injuries. Write down your daily pain levels and how your injuries impact your mental state.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation With a Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyer
You deserve to be compensated when another party causes your injury. Our legal team works to recover the maximum compensation for your damages. Call our legal office to schedule a free case evaluation with our experienced Baltimore personal injury attorneys.