Some accident cases require not only a higher level of compensation but a higher level of proof. Your damaged vehicle is one thing but if you want to be paid what you really deserve, get ready to know about proof, how to attain it, and how to pass it along to your lawyer. You don't necessarily have to be a detective to gather what is needed, so read on to find out more.
Proving Fault: Who Caused the Accident?
In some cases, proof of liability is clear. Accidents with clear proof of who was the victim and who was the cause make things easier on everyone. Unfortunately, accident victims with serious injuries can complicate matters. For instance, victims may be suffering from so much trauma, both physical and mental, that their memories of what happened are fuzzy at best.
Some careless drivers admit to causing the accident by not paying attention, driving too fast, falling asleep, or being distracted. In most cases, though, fault is determined by a series of investigations that begin immediately after the accident. Commonly, law enforcement personnel at the scene will begin by interviewing the drivers, passengers, and bystanders to find out what they saw. This information goes into the accident report. Then, insurance adjusters take over and speak to the drivers. They, of course, have a financial stake in the results. If fault is still not clear at this point, your personal injury lawyer may seek video evidence and they might even hire an accident reconstruction expert to provide an opinion. All of those things comprise proof of fault.
Proving Damages: How Much Should Compensation Be?
After fault, the assessment of damages begins. Any way the victim was affected is a form of damage. Typical in most auto accidents are damages like medical expenses, lost income from a job, lost and damaged property a vehicle, and pain and suffering. Pain and suffering may be assigned a dollar amount based on the seriousness of the victim's injuries. To prove all of that, victims should be prepared to bring forth the following:
- Medical billing statements, receipts, insurance exlpanations of benefits (EOB), etc.
- Pay stubs or statements, bank statements, income tax returns
- A log of all time missed from the job dealing with accident issues like medical appointments and such
- Photographs of your vehicle and other lost or damaged personal property
- A vehicle repair estimate
- Medical records and doctor's notes detailing the victim's medical treatment, diagnostic tests, and future potential needs in regard to more medical care
You are not in this alone. Speak to a personal injury lawyer and let them make a case.