A car crash victim who wishes to win their compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit must have strong documentary evidence. This is because of the legal principle, “he who asserts must prove.” Evidence tells the story of what you’ve been through, how much you lost, and any future impact the accident would have.
More than the preceding, evidence backs up your version of events and shows the court and jury that you’re not fabricating details. This article looks at the documentary evidence you need in a car crash case. If you or anyone you know suffers injuries in a car accident, our Indianapolis auto accident lawyers at Stewart Phelps Wood can help you get compensation.
What Is Documentary Evidence?
A piece of documentary evidence is any proof that you can introduce at trial in paper form as distinguished from oral testimony. It could be an invoice, contract, will, etc., but it could also refer to any media device used to store and preserve information like photographs. In addition, documentary evidence includes mediums for viewing mechanical devices like a tape recording or film.
Lastly, a printed form of digital evidence like emails or spreadsheets qualifies as documentary evidence. Before a court admits documentary evidence, the witness admitting it must lay the foundation by testifying to the origin of the evidence and its authenticity. If there’s cause to doubt the proof’s origin or authenticity, the court may not admit it.
What Documentary Evidence Should You Have in a Car Accident Case?
In a personal injury case resulting from a car accident, you’ll need the following documentary evidence.
Medical Report and Bills
There are two types of medical evidence you need to present in a car accident case. One is the medical report detailing your injuries and treatment, and the second is medical bills showing how much you spent. You can get the two from your treating physician.
Depending on the nature of your injury, the report should state if you’ll need future medical treatment and provide a cost estimate. If you spent money on medical equipment, add the receipt. Do the same for any other out-of-pocket expenses relating to your treatment. By presenting a comprehensive medical report or bills, you increase your chances of recovering every amount spent.
The police report is the official version of what happened at the accident scene. Here, the police have the fault driver’s statement, the victim’s, and the witnesses. The report also contains the assessment of the responding police officers. This includes their preliminary investigation and final investigative remarks.
If the police called accident reconstruction experts to the scene, the report would contain their assessment of the crash scene. A police report is a crucial piece of documentary evidence, so getting a copy is paramount. You can request one by visiting the office of the investigating officers or applying online.
Copy or Photo of Insurance Policy
This piece of documentary evidence is essential, especially if you paid for your treatment and vehicle repairs using your uninsured motorist coverage. The latter is often the case where the fault party doesn’t have an auto insurance policy. So, you need a copy or photo of your insurance policy to prove that it does exist and the coverage handled your expenses. If you didn’t use your insurance, don’t present this evidence, as it’s irrelevant to the case.
Tickets Relating to the Car Accident
Even if you’re the crash victim, you might still get cited for a traffic violation, e.g., a broken tail light. If you were, you should present this evidence to your lawyer so that the fault party doesn’t try to use it against you. Your Indianapolis car accident lawyer will ensure it does not affect your compensation.
Photographs From the Scene
Photos from the crash scene are another key documentary evidence. It shows the point of contact of the vehicle involved, injuries, and damage to cars and other personal properties. You can take photos yourself at the crash scene if you’re not severely injured or ask the police for their copies.
Let the Best Indianapolis Injury Law Firm Help You!
As a car accident victim, you might be too injured to collect all the evidence discussed above yourself. So, you need someone reliable to help you get the evidence you need to win. This is where an experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer comes in. At Stewart Phelps Wood, we have the experience and knowledge to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review.