Photo Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Production of evidence is an essential part of any personal injury claim, whether it is an auto accident claim, a medical malpractice lawsuit, or a premises liability claim. In most cases, the more plentiful the evidence, the stronger the claim will be. And without adequate evidence, a personal injury claim may fall flat. In order to prove liability, you must provide adequate evidence to prove the following:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care;
- The plaintiff suffered injuries; and
- The breach of the defendant’s duty of care was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
The applicable standard of care varies, and depends on the circumstances of the accident and the relationship between the parties. For instance, the standard of care that a doctor owes a patient is very different than the standard of care for a non-physician. In some situations, such as car accidents, the standard of care will be related to applicable laws and regulations; in other cases, the standard of care will depend on the facts of the specific case. The standard of care is often evaluated by considering what a “reasonable person” in the defendant’s position would have done, with reasonableness considered in light of what the defendant actually knew, experienced, or perceived. Because the standard of care differs depending on the type of negligence and the defendant, the evidence necessary to prove liability also varies. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand what documents and other evidence will be necessary in your specific lawsuit. Common types of evidence that may establish liability include the following:
- Police report
- Proof of date of accident
- Evidence from the accident scene, such as photos and witness statements
- Photos of property damage
- Medical records
- Medical expert testimony
If you successfully prove liability, the court will then determine the amount of money damages to which you are entitled. Proving damages also requires adequate evidence, which may include things like:
- Medical bills
- Salary/wage information
- Occupational expert testimony
A personal injury claim must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations and the failure to file a personal injury lawsuit, or accept an insurance settlement, within the applicable statute of limitations will result in the forfeiture of your right to pursue a personal injury claim. Accordingly, it is also important to provide evidence of the date of the accident or injury to prove that the statute of limitations is met.
Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer
The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish focus on representing accident and injury victims, including those who were injured as a result of negligence. Contact our office at (312) 445-9084 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and what type of evidence would be necessary to prove liability. Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.