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Evidence

Evidence

The injured party in a personal injury lawsuit has the burden of proving the legal elements to prove fault and liability. Evidence is used to build a case against the at-fault party.

The evidence can include but is not limited to testimony, physical evidence, and documentary evidence.

Evidence Used in a Personal Injury Case in Portland, OR

The Federal Rules of Evidence and the Oregon Rules of Evidence determine whether evidence is admissible in court. If a judge rules evidence is inadmissible in a case, the evidence cannot be introduced to the jurors. For example, hearsay evidence is generally not admissible in court.

Examples of evidence used to prove personal injury claims include, but are not limited to:

Eyewitness Testimony

Testimony from individuals who witnessed the accident or injury can be powerful evidence in a personal injury case. The eyewitness is considered an objective source of information. Unlike the parties to the case, an eyewitness does not profit or lose anything from the outcome.

Medical Records 

You must sustain damages to recover compensation for a personal injury claim. Medical records provide documentary evidence explaining the injuries you sustained. The records also explain the severity of the injuries, including permanent impairments and disabilities you sustained.

Along with medical records, medical bills provide the cost of medical treatment. Medical expenses are included in the economic damages for a personal injury case. Generally, an injured party is entitled to reimbursement for all costs related to diagnosing and treating accident injuries.

Accident Reports

The information in an accident or police report may or may not be admissible evidence at trial. The factual information, such as the location of an accident, might be admissible, but the police officer’s opinion as to fault might not be allowed. On the other hand, if a party made statements directly to the officer, those statements might be admissible.

Photographs and Videos

A video could help show how an accident happened if the video captured the accident as it occurred in real time. Likewise, photos of an accident scene can provide critical evidence of how someone was injured. 

Pictures of a person’s injuries can help jurors understand the extent and severity of the physical harm sustained by the victim. In addition, when jurors can “see” something, it is easier for them to understand how it relates to the allegations.

Expert Testimony and Opinions

An expert witness has special knowledge, experience, or training in a specific subject matter. Testimony from an expert witness can strengthen a party’s case. Jurors might give more weight to the testimony from an expert than a layperson.

Expert witnesses used in personal injury cases include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical specialists
  • Accident reconstructionists
  • Semi-truck experts
  • Manufacturing experts
  • Psychologists 
  • Engineers
  • Safety and quality control specialists
  • Economists and financial experts
  • Rehabilitation and vocational specialists
  • Pain management specialists 
  • Life care planners
  • Forensic experts

Individuals must meet specific qualifications to be an expert. In addition to testimony, expert opinions may be introduced into evidence in some cases. 

Income Statements

Injured parties can receive reimbursement for their loss of income and wages because of an accident or injury. However, you must prove how much money you would have earned had you been able to work. Therefore, you may need copies of your:

  • Pay statements
  • W2s and 1099s
  • Business income statements
  • Profit and loss reports
  • Tax returns

You may also need a statement from your employer confirming your income and the time lost from work because of the accident. Additionally, you must have medical evidence proving you could not work because of your injuries to receive compensation for lost wages.

If you sustained a permanent impairment, you could also be entitled to compensation for diminished earning capacity and future lost wages. Economists, medical specialists, and vocational experts assist in building a case for future damages. 

Pain and Suffering Journal 

You can also receive compensation for your non-economic damages. These damages include the pain and suffering you experienced because of an injury or accident.

However, non-economic damages can be challenging to prove. No bill or statement proves how much you suffered because of the other party’s negligence or intentional torts.

Therefore, you should consider keeping a pain a suffering journal throughout your case. The journal contains detailed notes about your emotional, physical, and mental suffering. You can include information explaining how the injuries impacted your activities, daily life, and relationship with other people.

Vivid descriptions of how your injuries caused you to suffer help jurors determine the value of non-economic damages. A personal injury lawsuit could take more than a year to go to trial. Your journal is an excellent source to remind you how you suffered because of another party’s actions.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Portland Personal Injury Lawyer

The legal team at Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer conducts comprehensive investigations to determine how you were injured and gather evidence proving liability. We fight to get you the money you deserve by building solid evidence-based cases. Call our law firm at (503) 773-3333 today to schedule your free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneys in Portland, OR

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