The importance of personal injury evidence cannot be over-emphasized in a Philadelphia personal injury claim. At the outside of a claim, a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will sit down with you in a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your potential personal injury case. One of the most important components of your case is the evidence you have to present to your attorney. The purpose of this consultation is twofold: You are evaluating the attorney for his or her individual approach to representing victims, but you are also interested in learning about whether you are eligible to bring a case.
Not every personal injury case is appropriate for litigation. Furthermore, if it has been several years since the accident has happened, you might have surpassed the Pennsylvania statute of limitations for bringing a lawsuit. During this initial consultation with your Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, you can discuss how the accident occurred, the other parties you believed to be responsible, and any evidence you have already gathered in support of your personal injury claim.
You have a limited period of time to file an accident claim in Pennsylvania. If you exceed this time limit, the court will dismiss your case regardless of the strength of your arguments as a victim. This is true unless a very limited exception applies to extending the deadline.
Per 42 Pennsylvania Code Section 5524, you must bring your personal injury lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident. Sitting down with your attorney can help you clarify whether or not an exception applies, such as realizing the severity of your injuries sometime after the accident itself.
Kinds of Personal Injury Evidence
Depending on how seriously you were hurt in the accident, you might not have had the opportunity to gather evidence at the scene of your Philadelphia car crash, bike crash, or motorcycle crash, or other personal injury claim. For this reason, some of the evidence associated with your injury claim might be collected after the fact.
Examples include medical records, a police report, and eyewitness statements from those who saw the accident unfold. In the event that you were conscious immediately after the incident and were able to take pictures and gather contact information for people in the area, this information can also be provided to your Philadelphia personal injury lawyer for the purposes of evidence evaluation.
When it comes to gathering and presenting evidence to your Philadelphia accident attorney, more is better. Your attorney can then decide which of the pieces of evidence are most relevant to your accident claim and can discard what is no longer necessary or highly in support of your argument over who caused the accident. This information can be especially helpful when you do not remember the moments leading up to the accident.
What Happens if You Have No Evidence
Plenty of people who are critically hurt in a Philadelphia injury accident do not have the opportunity to gather any evidence at the scene. This makes it all the more important to retain the services of a Philly personal injury lawyer immediately after the crash. Your injury lawyer might return to the scene of the accident and to begin collecting evidence on their own or might hire the services of experienced accident reconstruction specialists to retell the story.
Your personal injury lawyer will play a vital role in developing your narrative about how the accident happened if you were unable to remember it on your own, so it is imperative that you find someone who has extensive experience in handling cases when the victim is unable to provide evidence.
What is My Attorney Looking for in the Evidence?
The evidence can help to tell a specific portion of the story related to how the accident occurred. Even if it is relatively clear that another party is primarily responsible for the injuries you sustained due to their own reckless behavior, you cannot always count on people to be honest and share this in the police report or in court.
You should always be under the impression that you will need to illustrate a cases fault on your own. In the best-case scenario, your attorney will not need to rely on all of the evidence you have gathered, but it is far better to have it just in case.
Your attorney is looking for many different things inside the evidence that will help tell your story or convince the court about how the accident occurred.
Some of the things your lawyer will look for when analyzing car accident evidence include:
- Indications that the other party was distracted, under the influence, or otherwise responsible for causing the incident
- Signs that other people might have witnessed what happened
- Video cameras in the area near the accident that could have captured the crash live
- Signs like skid marks or debris that explain the direction or speed of the vehicles involved
- Symptoms of how severe your injuries are after the accident, such as the length of time you spent in the hospital, how many diagnostic tests and treatment you went through, and how many times you had to visit doctors or the hospital
What Does My Attorney Do with the Evidence?
Sometimes, your case may begin with the draft of a demand letter created by your Philadelphia personal injury attorney. Your Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will use the evidence you have presented to him or her to decide a reasonable amount of money for what you would be willing to settle the case. It’s important to remember that any negotiations with the insurance company could go back and forth, and that as a victim, you are not obligated to accept any offers presented by the insurance company.
Since your lawyer will play a critical role in deciding the severity of your injuries and how it has affected your life currently and you’re likely future, it is important to work with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer with extensive experience in preparing these cases for settlement negotiations or for trial.
In the event that your attorney is unsuccessful in obtaining a fair settlement through the demand letter and insurance negotiation process, this evidence will also come up again in trial.
In many cases, your attorney will work as hard as possible to present a compelling picture of the evidence early on in the case. Many insurance companies and at fault parties will realize the uncertainty of going to trial. This means that when they recognize that the potential losses in a courtroom could be substantial, they might be more motivated to negotiate a settlement in your case.
This is yet another reason why your evidence makes such an important impact on the prospective outcome of your case. In the event that your evidence encourages the insurance company to settle and you achieve a fair settlement offer, you might be able to receive the compensation you need to help move on with your life in a shorter time than what would be involved in court.
Post-Accident Personal Injury Evidence: What You Need to Know
Some of the most important pieces of personal injury evidence in your Philadelphia personal injury case are those that come in the form of your medical records. Even if you are not yet sure whether you have sustained substantial injuries and damages, it is recommended that you go to the doctor for screenings and diagnostic test. Your injuries and an official diagnosis might continue to evolve in the days and weeks after the accident. Attending all of your medical appointments and making your own notes about each of these visits is important for reflecting back and presenting updates in the case to your Philadelphia personal injury attorney.
Despite the fact that an outside party, a physician, is updating your medical records and keeping track of your progress and recovery post-accident, the severity of your injuries is one of the most commonly contested aspects of a personal injury claim. For this reason, it is important to have ample evidence that supports how critically you were injured and how this has affected your life. In addition to notes from your doctor’s visits, keep track of any ways that the accident and resulting injuries have affected your day-to-day life.
For example, you might no longer be able to complete daily activities, play with your children, or participate in a sports League that was important to you prior to the crash. All of these illustrate the many ways that your life has been shaped by another person’s negligence and could be raised in the context of your Philadelphia personal injury claim.
Make sure to stay up to date with all visits, treatments, and medications recommended by your doctor. The other side might attempt to argue that you skipped out on other medical treatment because your conditions were not as serious as you claim.
Don’t wait to get help from a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer after you have been hurt in an accident. Beginning the path to recovery is important, and filing your case as soon as possible helps protect your right to bring legal action. If you have been injured, call Fox Law today at 215-568-6868 for a free consultation to discuss your personal injury claim.