An injury generally comes down to one thing: negligence. And if you’ve sustained an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you’ll be required to prove it. If you’re not sure how to prove your side of your case, evidence will help you build a strong defense.
Burden Of Proof
Proving fault starts with satisfying this requirement. Personal injury can cover everything from a dog bite to a slip and fall case to a car accident, but the end result is the same. You’ll be required to prove with what’s called “a preponderance of the evidence” that your injury was caused by another individual’s negligence. This means that you’ll show that more likely than not, there is greater than a 51% chance the other party’s negligence caused your injury.
Evidence And Investigation
Proving fault starts with gathered evidence. Essential for satisfying the burden of proof are multiple forms of evidence, including:
· Police reports—usually the first point of documentation, especially with vehicular crashes. Police reports are essential for filing accident claims as well as if any legal violations occurred.
· Photographs and video from the scene of the accident—if you or a witness are able, use your cell phone to take and store as many photographs and video as you can. Give these to your attorney on a flash drive, even though there will be photos from the police report as well. Your attorney can also request security camera footage and other third-party photography that’s available.
· Witness statements—if there are any witnesses to your injury, ask them to give written statements. Make sure to get their contact information so they may be contacted later if needed.
· Medical Records—you should seek treatment for your injuries immediately. Copies of your medical records relating to the injury are evidence that will help you prove fault.
· Personal notes—keeping track of everything related to your accident—starting with the day it happened—can establish a timeline. It will help you remember important, relevant facts later on.
· Other relevant documentation and evidence—this could be anything from clothing or other property that was damaged and can prove fault of your injury.
In many cases, some form of investigation will be used to determine fault. For instance, in a car crash, accident reconstruction may be utilized to demonstrate exactly how it happened based on available forensic evidence.
Missouri is one of a number of states that has the so-called “comparative fault,” or the potential for two or more parties to share fault. If a court decides that you shared responsible for your injuries, you’ll be assigned a percentage of fault.
If your slip-and-fall was partly because you were looking at your cell phone instead of looking where you were walking, you may be assigned 25% of the responsibility. If you would have received a settlement of $10,000, that sum will be reduced to $7,500. You’ll be able to collect damages as long as you were not 100% at fault.
KC’s Personal Injury Firm
Getting hurt can be a difficult experience. But an experienced personal injury attorney can help you with your case so you can heal and get on with your life.
The Popham Law Firm has helped hundreds of people in all kinds of personal injury cases. We’ll be happy to review your case, let you know if you have one, and how to proceed. Contact us today at (844) 243-2288 to get started. The call is free, and so is the consultation, with no obligation.