Proving Injuries as Part of a California Car Accident Lawsuit
A key element of any California car accident lawsuit requires the injury victim (the “plaintiff”) to prove the extent of his or her injuries and express this in a monetary figure. After all, if the plaintiff is unable to prove that he or she was injured in the car accident or if he or she cannot prove how badly he or she was injured, there is little assistance that a court can provide. But the plaintiff who establishes both that he or she was injured by the defendant and provides the court with evidence and testimony that indicates the extent of those injuries is in the best position possible to obtain a monetary damages award.
Therefore, supporting your claim for compensation after a car accident requires you to be prepared to prove the extent of your injuries with the same quality of evidence you will need to establish the other legal elements of your case. But your word standing alone is often insufficient to prove injuries or the extent of those injuries. Instead, judges and juries will be expecting that your claim of injuries be supported and documented by disinterested witnesses and objective documentation.
Testimony from Your Treating Doctor(s) and Emergency Medical Personnel
Oftentimes the most persuasive testimony concerning your injuries and their severity comes from your own medical treatment team. Your car accident lawyer will most likely subpoena the doctor who evaluated and treated you immediately after the accident as well as any doctors or specialists that provided you emergency care or follow-up treatment. Using your medical records, your doctors can provide reliable testimony regarding the injuries you sustained in the accident, how they determined that you suffered these injuries and that these injuries were connected to the car crash, the course of treatment you were ordered to undergo, and your prognosis.
Photographs Taken at the Scene of the Accident
If you are able to photograph your injuries at or near the time of the accident – and especially if you have obvious injuries such as broken bones, cuts and lacerations, extensive bruising or burns, or other visible injuries – these photographs can be used to bolster your own credibility and the credibility of any other witnesses who testify as to the extent of your injuries. Supporting the credibility of yourself and your eyewitnesses in this manner makes the other matters to which you or they testify more believable.
Medical Bills, Documents and Expert Testimony
Establishing the extent and severity of your injury is essential to obtaining compensation, as is quantifying your injuries as expressing their severity in monetary terms. Your medical bills, statements from creditors, records of expenses, and similar documents can be used to quantify your past medical expenses. Other documents like wage statements and attendance records can be used to prove the amount of any lost wages you are claiming. If your accident has left you with temporary or permanent damage, you may need one or more expert witnesses familiar with your condition and limitations who can help the judge or jury understand (1) the nature of your ongoing medical needs; (2) what supplies, services, and assistance you will need as a result of these ongoing needs; and (3) reasonable costs for obtaining these supplies, services, and assistance.
Depending on the unique facts and circumstances of your case, there may be additional people and/or items of evidence that will need to be located, interviewed or examined, and made available for trial in order to prove the nature of your car accident injuries and the expenses associated therewith. Your Los Angeles Auto Accident Attorney can help with all of that.