New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
How to Preserve Evidence for a Personal Injury Claim in New York
The chances of a favorable outcome in a personal injury case rests on the nature, quality, and quantity of evidence you can produce to back your claims. The more the evidence you produce, the better are your chances of receiving compensation. But you have to simultaneously ensure that the evidence is comprehensive and credible.
A testimony from an eyewitness is always more credible than your account of the incident while fuzzy photographs mar your chances of proving your claims. Here’s how to preserve evidence for a personal injury claim in New York, a bustling city millions that poses unique challenges in this regard.
Revisit the scene of the incident.
Whatever be the nature of your personal injury case—road accident, slip-and-fall, or medical malpractice—the most potent pieces of evidence have to be gathered from the scene of the incident. So head back to the site as soon as you recover from your injuries, if there are any. If you cannot, ask someone else to help you collect the evidence. Time is of the essence here.
In a busy city like New York, hospitals and other medical establishments serve a myriad of patients every day. They might not remember the details of your case if you meet them too long after the incident. The skid marks of the car tires may not remain on the busy streets of the city for too long. So you have to promptly revisit the scene of the incident.
Take photographs of damages.
A photograph is the best physical evidence of the incident or the circumstance that led to your injury. For instance, a broken step that caused you to fall down, a traffic light that is obscured by an overhanging branch of a tree, the damage to your car when a drunk driver smashed into it, or your injured arm or bruised leg are best documented by a photograph than your verbal description.
If you have been involved in a road accident, return to the site and take photographs of the scene at exactly the same time of the day when the incident had occurred. This ensures that your photograph shows the road and traffic conditions that were present at the time of the accident and could have caused it. If your vehicle was damaged in the accident, photograph the damaged area from different angles to prove the extent of it. Ensure that you also click some medium and long shots to prove that it was your car that sustained the damage.
Photograph your injuries as well. Preserve your medical records; these are valuable pieces of evidence that prove the extent of your injuries and will also come in handy when your personal injury lawyer has to calculate the amount of compensation you are entitled to claim.
Make sure that you have a date on the photographs. Ask a friend to accompany you to the accident site when you go to take the photographs, so he can testify later in court. Or you can ask the printers to stamp the date on the receipt or on the back of the prints.
Locate eyewitnesses and record testimonies.
Ask around and find people who may have witnessed the accident or had seen you, injured and in pain, just after the incident. Eyewitness testimonies corroborate your statements and may also add details, which you may have missed, to your description of the events. Record their statements and ask them to sign on the documents.
Ask them for their address and phone numbers, so you or your attorney can get in touch with them for more details or if they have to appear in court to testify or appear for a mediation. But hurry. In a big city like New York, people move around frequently and quickly; you may lose your witnesses if you do not reach them in time. The longer you wait, the less they remember.
Gather and preserve evidence for a personal injury claim in New York to improve your chances in the case. Ensure that you go about it the right way.