There are two main pieces to your personal injury case. In the first, you have to prove liability. This means that you’ll have to demonstrate that the other driver’s negligence caused your accident and your resulting injuries. If you can successfully show liability, then you have to prove the second part of your case: your damages.
Proving damages may seem like the easy part, but the truth of the matter is that the damages portion of your case may be just as hotly contested as the liability aspect, regardless of whether you’re negotiating a settlement or litigating in front of a judge and jury.
With that in mind, you need to do everything you can to protect your financial interests as you navigate your personal injury case. To do so, you need to ensure that you’re gathering and presenting the evidence necessary to demonstrate the full extent of your damages, while minimizing any arguments that you were comparatively negligent, which could ultimately reduce your recovery.
How do you prove your damages?
There are some simple ways to prove your damages, but some of the harm that has been caused to you isn’t as easy to see. Here are some ways that you can go about proving damages in your case:
- Gather relevant records: The medical expenses that you’ve incurred can easily be shown by gathering your hospital bills and your insurance payments. Similarly, your lost wages can be simply calculated by gathering your previous pay stubs and applying them to the time that you’ve missed work. But documents like your medical records might also help you speak to your need for future treatment, which can assist you in proving anticipated damages that have yet to be realized.
- Talk to experts: The judge and jury, let alone the defense, isn’t just going to take your word for what you expect your damages to be. You’re going to have to prove them, even if you haven’t incurred them yet. This is where the help of expert witnesses can prove beneficial. A medical professional, for example, can speak to your diagnosis, prognosis, and need for treatment. This can then be translated into a cost for the care that you are expected to need. You can also have an employment expert testify as to how your injuries have affected your ability to work, your career trajectory, and your earnings.
- Keep a journal: Your non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life, are extraordinarily valuable. However, since they’re intangible, they’re hard to put a price on. By keeping a journal of how your injuries have affected your day-to-day life, though, you can better show just how painful it is to live with the harm that has been unfairly caused to you. So, as you keep your journal, make sure that you’re being as detailed as possible.
Consider letting an attorney help you carry the burden in your case
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, then you’ve got a lot to deal with right now. The thought of figuring out the legalities of your case may thus seem overwhelming. But don’t let the stress of it all paralyze you into inaction. Instead, think about reaching out to an attorney for assistance.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather the evidence that you need to support your claim, and he or she will aggressively advocate for you throughout your case. Hopefully, then you can rest easy knowing that your case is in good hands and that your likelihood of success is maximized as much as possible under the facts at hand.