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How to Gather and Organize Evidence for Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

Favorable outcomes in criminal and civil cases depend largely on the quality of evidence. So, if you plan to file a personal injury claim in Missouri, you have to ensure that you gather all the relevant evidence and organize it in such a way as to improve your case's outcomes. 

This guide explores the various types of evidence you may need when pursuing a personal injury case and how to gather and organize it to ensure the best outcomes possible, so keep reading to learn more. 

Photos and Video Footage

Photos and video footage are an excellent way of helping show the severity of an injury in a personal injury claim. You only need your smartphone to take pictures and record video footage of an accident and injuries. 

Pictures and video footage from third parties, such as another driver's dash cam footage or a business's CCTV footage, may pose some challenges to access, but a lawyer can help you with that. Digital evidence is safest in the cloud because you can still access your files even when you lose your phone or it's broken.

Medical Records and Bills

Medical records and bills provide critical information necessary for damage valuation, so you want to keep every medical document obtained from your first interaction with a medical professional to the last. 

These documents include bills, receipts, doctor's notes, etc. In most cases, medical bills will be in hard copy format, so you may also want to digitize them and store them in the cloud for extra precaution. As for the hard copy documents, they may be much safer with your lawyer, so you may want to pass them over to them. 

In cases where you may have challenges accessing your medical records, your lawyer can leverage legal means of accessing them from the hospital in question. Lastly, you want to ensure that you gather and safely keep any other documents that may be relevant to your case, such as receipts for non-medical expenses, invoices, insurance documents, etc.

Reports and Witness Testimonies

If your accident has police involved, you have a right to access the police report, which plays a big role in establishing critical facts of the case from their investigation perspective. 

"In addition to the police report, focus on getting eyewitness testimonies. These are the accounts of people who were at the accident scene and can give a first-hand account of what they saw," says personal injury lawyer Lawrence J. Buckfire of Buckfire Law. 

The best time to engage them is while you are at the scene. Focus on getting their contact information and a written or audio-visual account of events while their memory is fresh. 

You may also need to involve expert witnesses. Expert witnesses are experts in a certain field whose role in a case is to break down complex facts of a topic in a way that the court will understand. They can include health specialists, safety experts, accident reconstructionists, etc. 

How to Organize Your Evidence

Gathering evidence is work half done. The other part is organizing it to make your outcomes much more favorable. This includes how you present the evidence in court, which requires following the rules of evidence. 

This is the part where the input of a personal injury lawyer becomes critical. You could handle it on your own, but you are bound to make some mistakes that can be costly. So unless your injuries are relatively insignificant, leaving evidence organization to a lawyer is always a good idea. 

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