Investigating Claims and Fact-Finding
If you were injured in an accident in Illinois, you need to be able to present the strongest possible legal claim. Every successful personal injury claim must be built on a strong foundation of reliable and well-presented evidence. Thorough investigation and fact-finding can be the difference between recovering the maximum available compensation and settling for a disappointing result.
All Relevant Evidence Must Be Obtained and Carefully Reviewed
Injured victims should hire an experienced Rockford, Illinois personal injury lawyer who has the skills and tenacity needed to carefully investigate their claim. Relevant evidence can come in a wide range of different forms. As each claim is different, all personal injury cases require fully individualized attention. Every potential source of evidence must be reviewed. Some of the most common forms of evidence in personal injury cases include:
- Police Reports: If a law enforcement officer filed an official accident report related to your case, you need to be sure to get a copy of the document. In Illinois, police officers will generally write accident reports for any significant motor vehicle collisions. Though, police reports may be filed in other cases as well. Depending on the contents, an official accident report can help to establish fault.
- Testimony: Your own testimony is a form of evidence, as is the testimony of any defendant in the case. All statements that have been made by either party, whether to law enforcement officers, insurance company representatives, or during a deposition should be carefully examined.
- Witness Statements: Third-party eyewitnesses can also provide very important insight into the accident. One of the most important things that injured victims can do immediately after their accident is to obtain contact information for any witnesses. An experienced Rockford, IL personal injury lawyer can help you track down witnesses and obtain useful statements.
- Photographic Evidence: Photographs or video evidence of the accident, the scene, any resulting damage, and the victim’s injuries can be extremely valuable. Indeed, courts find photographic evidence to be especially persuasive. An attorney can help you find any photographs of the accident or your injuries that might be available.
- Medical Bills and Medical Records: Establishing liability is merely one step in the personal injury claims process. To make a full and fair financial recovery, victims must also be able to prove their damages. Far too many people overlook this pivotal aspect of personal injury law. If you fail to prove your damages, your compensation will be reduced, possibly by a dramatic amount. Victims must obtain and organize all medical evidence, including any medical bills.
Strong Evidence is the Key to Effective Negotiation
Personal injury evidence can also come in many other different forms. In some cases, your attorney may even bring in an expert witness, either to testify to the accident causation or to testify regarding your injuries. Vigorous investigation and fact-finding are required in every personal injury claim. Far too many injured victims find themselves in a poor negotiating position because they failed to act quickly to get an experienced legal professional by their side during the investigative stage of the claims process.