The person suing for damages must produce the burden of proof, if the case goes to court.
The insurance companies appreciate that fact. As a result, any material that adds to the burden of proof can influence the pace and direction of progress, for the insurance claims process.
Questions that must be answered in the affirmative by the burden of proof
• Did the defendant have a duty of care towards the plaintiff, at the time of the accident?
• Did the defendant breach that same duty during the moments before the accident’s occurrence?
• Did the defendant’s breach cause the accident and the associated injuries?
• Did the resulting damages represent a measurable loss of the plaintiff?
Sources of evidentiary materials
• Witness’ statements
• Journal or diary
Records of greatest significance
Record of all repairs done to vehicle, both before and after reported accident: In cases where vehicle has been totaled, proof of repair work completed earlier could influence the determination of the same vehicle’s market value.
Record of all medical appointments and the bill for each appointment: It also helps to keep track of the money spent on parking, when attending each appointment.
Record of pay stubs, or of earnings for self-employed individual with own business, or of W-2s for same individual
What materials does any victim have a right to possess?
When all treatments have been completed, the victim has the right to ask for a copy of all medical records, including the diagnostic images.
Other sources of information
• Depositions of the plaintiff and the defendant
• Depositions of any person that was familiar with facts that related to the accident, or to the associated injuries.
• Interrogatories of those that would not or could not appear at a deposition
• Locations that have carried out video surveillance, and could have a clip of the injury-causing incident.
Possible challenges to obtaining evidence
You could discover that a certain video camera has taken pictures of the area in which the accident took place. Still, there could be a tree or other type of obstruction in the line that exits from the camera’s lens to the spot with the objects of interest.
Your hopes for using a witness’ testimony might be dashed, if you have thought about supplementing the sighting with testimony on what was heard. That hope might not be satisfied, if you learn that the witness is hard of hearing.
Gaining the witness’ trust. Explaining to witnesses their rights, without actually telling them what to say. It is illegal to direct the mention of specific facts in a given witness’ testimony.