Evidence can make or break a personal injury case. That may seem obvious, but the window for gathering many of the most important types of evidence can be very small, and in the aftermath of your injury, you may not remember to snap photos of the accident scene or request surveillance video footage.
Personal injury attorney Ray Areshenko has extensive experience helping his clients recover the compensation they deserve. In this blog, he breaks down the most crucial pieces of evidence on which a personal injury case can sink or swim.
Photos and Videos
Photos can show the extent of your injuries and offer hints as to what caused them. They can also provide context and other relevant information. Videos can potentially show your injury actually occurring.
Some of this is incredibly time-sensitive. For example, photos of the scenes of car accidents must be taken before the scene is cleaned up to be as effective as possible. If you suffered a slip-and-fall injury on a spill in a restaurant, you must take a picture of the spill before employees clean it up. CCTV or surveillance camera footage may only be archived for a short time before it's deleted.
Because of this, it's crucial to take as many photos as possible at the scene of an accident in the immediate aftermath. Pictures that can help a personal injury claim include:
- Vehicle damage
- Your injuries
- Spilled liquid
- Skid marks
- Road conditions
- Property damage
- Defective products
If you're in a car accident, you should call the police immediately afterward. Their report could be a huge boon to your case.
Police will interview witnesses and conduct an investigation. The report will contain their findings and collect witness statements into a single document. You should get a copy of one as soon as it's available.
Police are almost always involved in car accidents. However, they may not be called to a slip-and-fall or defective product accident. In these cases, the burden of interviewing witnesses may fall on you.
There is no legal obligation for witnesses to stick around after such accidents, so you should make a point to interview them as soon as possible. Information from impartial third-parties can have a massive impact on a case. For example, if you slipped and fell on a spill at a restaurant, a witness could testify that they'd previously told management about the spill.
Medical bills and reports show the type and extent of your injuries, as well as provide an itemized list of the costs you incurred as a result of your injury. They can also help link your injuries to the accident. You should keep a copy of every medical report and bill you receive as part of your recovery.
Examples of important medical records include:
- EMT reports
- Emergency room admittance charts
- Doctors' notes
- Bills for X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or other imaging tests
- Bills for medication
- Bills for medical equipment
Records of Pain and Suffering
Damages from pain and suffering are harder to quantify than medical bills. Emotional distress doesn't come with a clean bill the way a visit to the emergency room does. However, it's no less important. Pain and suffering can add significantly to the damages you receive as part of a personal injury claim.
Because those damages are hard to compute, it's on you to keep as detailed of records as possible about your daily struggles. Mr. Areshenko recommends that you keep a daily pain journal to document what you're going through in the aftermath of an accident.
Pain journals can include:
- Daily pain levels
- Side effects of medication
- Financial worries
- PTSD symptoms
- Embarrassment from help needed to dress, eat, or bathe
Contact Our Reno Personal Injury Attorney Today
Mr. Areshenko used to defend insurance companies. Now he fights them. He knows the business from the inside and will use this familiarity to help you maximize your compensation. He will help you find justice.
Start building your case by calling 775-300-7594 (NV) or 916-800-6090 (CA) for a free consultation with REA Law. We serve clients in and around Reno - Sparks and throughout Nevada. REA Law also has offices in Sacramento servicing California.