If you have been injured, you have a lot to deal with right now. If you are unfamiliar with the legal system, it can be overwhelming. Proving fault in a personal injury lawsuit can make or break your case. Here are some things you should keep in mind.
In California and many other states, there is a policy of “comparative negligence.” It weighs evidence of negligence created by both parties and adjusts settlements accordingly. Therefore, it is essential for you to have your evidence to prove your case. If the other party has a lot of evidence and creates a strong case, they may not be found negligent. You may have your settlement adjusted a lot lower than you thought, or thrown out altogether. This makes it critical to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Let them help you make sure that you have every advantage in the situation.
The evidence you gather will depend on what type of personal injury claim you are filing. In any case, you need to document your losses because of the incident. You will want to invest in an accordion type file to keep all your evidence in one place.
Obviously, you should keep all medical records, along with your medical bills. Keep and maintain a good record of wages lost because of the accident. Compile photos of the accident scene and damage. Keep documenting until your settlement. Get statements from any witnesses at the scene. Make sure that they understand the extent of your injuries.
If you have a personal injury attorney, they will guide you through the process. They will let you know what documents you will need to save and discard. Make sure that you are saving every bit of documentation relating to the incident.
Burden of Proof
A personal injury case is a civil lawsuit and not tried in a criminal trial. The plaintiff must provide enough evidence to prove that the defendant should be held liable. In a criminal trial, the burden of proof is a bit stricter. Sometimes, a case may be tried both acivil lawsuit and a criminal lawsuit, depending on the circumstances.
It is possible that if the case is tried twice, under criminal and civil suits, that the verdicts might not agree. A defendant might not be found guilty in a criminal trial. However, they can subsequently be found liable in a civil lawsuit.
When Should I File a Civil Lawsuit?
If you are seriously injured, contact a personal injury lawyer right away. They will work with you to determine if you have a case. All advice will warn you against settling your claim early. But, get your lawyer to act when initiating the claim quickly. There is a two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit in California. So, you don’t want to delay in filing your claim.
When it comes to settling your lawsuit, or going to court, your lawyer will be your advocate and advisor, working with you at every stage.