What Kind of Evidence Do I Need After a Personal Injury?

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Individuals often sustain injuries caused by the negligent actions of others. When this happens, victims should be able to recover compensation for their losses. However, injury claims made against another party must be substantiated with evidence in order for victims to recover compensation. Here, we want to discuss the types of evidence needed to prove negligence in a personal injury claim.

What is Negligence?

Most people have an understanding of what the word “negligence” means, but negligence has a specific meaning when it comes to personal injury claims. There are actually four elements of negligence that must be present in order for a claim to be successful against another party. These four elements include:

  1. Duty of care. A duty of care means that the defendant (the person alleged to have caused the injury) must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (the injury victim). This duty of care will look different depending on the type of situation in which the injury occurred. For example, every licensed driver on the roadway owes a duty to everyone around them, which includes following all traffic laws. Property owners have a different type of duty to those who have a right to be on their premises, including the duty to regularly inspect and maintain the premises and warn guests of any known hazards.
  2. Breach of duty. After establishing that there was a duty of care between the defendant and the plaintiff, it must be shown that the defendant breached their duty somehow. Again, a breach will be different depending on the type of situation. Drivers can breach their duty of care in a number of ways, including impaired or distracted driving. Property owners can breach their duty of care by failing to warn guests of a known hazard, such as a broken stairway.
  3. Causation. After showing that there was a breach of duty on the part of a defendant, it must be shown that the breach of duty is what actually caused the injuries to occur.
  4. Damages. Lastly, there must have been some sort of monetary loss the victim sustains in order for the claim to move forward. This can include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and more.

Evidence Needed to Prove Your Claim

The process of actually determining negligence involves gathering as much evidence as possible. In fact, without appropriate evidence, there is no way to show that a breach of duty existed. The types of evidence needed to prove negligence for a personal injury claim will vary depending on the exact situation that occurred. For example, evidence gathered after a vehicle accident will look different than evidence gathered after a workplace accident in an office building. However, some of the more common types of evidence used across the board in these situations can include:

  • Photographs taken around the scene of the incident
  • Video surveillance footage from nearby cameras
  • Statements from eyewitnesses to the incident
  • Statements from those involved in the incident
  • Accident reports filled out soon after the incident occurred

Every injury claim is different. For vehicle accidents, additional evidence, such as vehicle black box data, mobile device data, and traffic citations, may be used. Premises liability incidents may require an attorney to gather property owner inspection and maintenance records or records related to previous injuries at the same location.

If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury caused by the negligent actions of another party, please reach out to a Long Beach personal injury lawyer who can assist you with every aspect of the process.