New Orleans Car Accidents: Evidence Gathering
There are always two (or more) sides to every story. To win on a personal injury claim, a party must prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence — i.e., it must be more likely than not that one party’s version of events is true. As the victim in a car accident case, you (the plaintiff) must show the fact finder that your version of events is the correct one and that you are entitled to recover monetary damages from the other driver (the defendant). To do so, you will need to present convincing evidence. Our New Orleans motor vehicle accident attorneys can help.
Our New Orleans Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys Can Help You Prove What Happened
First, you must establish that the defendant breached his or her duty to you in causing the accident (in other words, that the defendant is “at fault”). To do so, you must present evidence showing what happened in the accident. This can come from several different sources, including:
- The police report
- Testimony from the police officers who attended the scene
- Expert testimony from a professional accident investigator
- Photographs of the vehicles after the accident
- Photographs of the accident scene (such as skid marks, broken glass, road conditions, etc.)
- Dash camera footage (if it is available)
- Eyewitness testimony (including that of other passengers)
- Statements made by the other driver after the accident
You should try to present as much evidence as possible to conclusively show that the other driver was at fault for the accident.
Proving Your Damages
New Orleans motor vehicle accident attorneys must also prove your damages in order to recover them from the defendant. In legal terms, “damages” refers to the economic and non-economic losses the plaintiff suffered as a result of the accident. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earnings, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
Some of these types of damages are fairly easy to quantify, such as medical bills and lost wages. Others, however, are much more difficult to value because the loss they cause is not purely financial, such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
To prove the extent of your damages, you may present evidence such as:
- Medical bills
- Pay stubs
- Receipts for repairs to property
- Expert testimony from your doctors
- Expert testimony from your physical and occupational rehabilitation team
- Testimony from family and friends
Keep in mind, however, that the damages you are eligible to receive are commensurate with your fault in the accident under the doctrine of “comparative fault.” Thus, if you are 0% at fault and the defendant is 100% at fault, you will receive 100% of your damages. However, if you were 25%, you would be able to recover only 75% of your damages — the amount for which you were not at fault.
Considerations for Your Total Compensation After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Victims of an auto accident should be entitled to receive compensation for both actual financial or economic loss, as well as for the pain and suffering that the crash causes them to endure. Compensation can also be available for emotional distress or wrongful death if a crash was fatal.
Actual financial losses include your medical bills, as well as ongoing medical expenses that you may be forced to pay following an auto accident. When you have to miss work, you incur actual financial losses. You also experience monetary losses if you take vacation days or sick days. If your injuries stop you from ever resuming work or limit the work that you can do, this causes you to miss out on financial gains as well.
Bloom Legal will help you prove the losses you’ve experienced to-date and will help you find the right experts, such as actuaries and medical professionals, to testify about future loss so you can get the fair compensation you need to cover your work income or any money you’ll have to spend because of your crash injuries.
We also provide help in proving the extent of your non-financial damages. It can be much harder to calculate losses for the pain and suffering and emotional distress you endure, or for the loss of companionship of a loved one who is killed in a crash. We assist you in fighting for damages for these very important losses when negotiating a settlement or when showing the extent of the harm you’ve endured as you present your case in court.
Contact the New Orleans Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Bloom Legal for More Information
Gathering evidence in a car accident case often involves complex discovery procedures. If you have suffered an injury in a car accident and need help proving your side of the story, please contact the New Orleans motor vehicle accident attorneys at Bloom Legal by using our online form or calling us at 504-599-9997.
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Posted By: Zachary Klos