person taking a picture of a car accident

Collect Evidence Like an Expert For a Personal Injury Lawsuit

By Greg Kohn

The victim in a personal injury lawsuit has the burden of proving the other party caused their injury to recover compensation for their damages. To win their case, they must have sufficient evidence to prove each legal element by a preponderance of the evidence. Therefore, collecting evidence after an accident or injury is crucial if you want to hold the party who caused your injury financially responsible for your damages. 

A New Jersey personal injury lawyer gathers evidence and builds a case when you hire them to pursue a personal injury claim or insurance claim. However, there are steps you can take to collect evidence like an expert immediately after an injury or accident to help improve your case.

Tips for Collecting Evidence for a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Jersey 

The New Jersey Rules of Evidence determine the types of evidence admissible in court. Evidence that can be helpful when filing a personal injury lawsuit includes:

Videos and Photographs of the Accident Scene

When you record a video of an accident scene, include the entire surrounding area. For instance, if you record a video of a car accident, include shots of the traffic lights, skid marks, traffic signs, plants and trees, and the placement of the vehicles. 

The same applies to photographs. Capture everything surrounding the accident scene. Take close-up and distance photos. Make sure to take close-up shots of the property damage to each vehicle. 

Document Eyewitness Statements 

Eyewitness testimony can be compelling in a personal injury lawsuit because the witness has no stake in the case’s outcome. Therefore, the jurors might give more credit to the eyewitness testimony. Ask each person at the accident scene for their name and contact information. Ask them what they saw and make notes to give to your personal injury lawyer if possible.

Preserve Physical Evidence 

If an item contributed to the cause of your injury, you need to preserve the item for your attorney. For example, if a defective product injures you, save the product, its packaging, and instructions. If you believe a defective tire or brake system contributed to a car crash, do not report or dispose of the parts until you speak with a lawyer.

Document Your Injuries

Immediate medical treatment for injuries helps link the cause of your injuries to the accident. Delays in medical care can hurt your case. Take pictures of your injuries after the accident and throughout your recovery. Photographs can help jurors understand the extent of the injuries.

Additional Evidence Used in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Your personal injury lawyer will continue gathering evidence to build your case. Evidence that an attorney might collect could include the following:

  • Copies of accident reports and police reports
  • Opinions and evidence from expert witnesses
  • The data collected from vehicle data recorders
  • Cell phone records
  • Statements and reports regarding defective products
  • Reports detailing the history of accidents at a specific location or with a specific company or business 
  • Depositions from eyewitnesses, experts, and other parties with knowledge of the case

The evidence in your case may include other documents and information. Each personal injury case is unique. Therefore, the evidence collected varies. The sooner a lawyer begins collecting evidence, the better chance critical pieces of evidence will not be lost or destroyed. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer 

You do not have to fight the insurance company alone. Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers have the resources to investigate your claim and gather evidence proving your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We want to help you receive the money you deserve after an accident or personal injury.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.