California Civil Code §1714 defines negligence in a personal injury claim, like a car accident case, as a willful act that causes the at-fault party to disregard the ordinary care owed to another person. Likewise, the evidence needed to prove negligence may include:
- Your official crash report with details and possibly photographs
- Medical records that substantiate your injuries and their cause
- Witness statements that help certify the circumstances of the accident
Your lawyer may use these and other forms of evidence to establish the at-fault party’s duty, their breach of duty, the cause of your injuries, and your damages. After meeting the required proof of negligence, your lawyer can then help you prove the value of the financial damages. These include costs you experienced due to the injuries you sustained in the accident.
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Your Crash Report Can Be a Reliable Source of Information
If you or a family member was injured in a car accident, a family member was fatally injured, or either involved vehicle sustained more than $1,000 in damages, the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) guidelines mandate the filing of a car accident report. The report from your accident may capture important details that help your legal team. Using this report, they can also prove cause, negligence, and your right to compensation, including:
- Contact information for the at-fault driver and his insurer
- Contact information for any witnesses who came forward
- Traffic violations or citations issued to the at-fault driver
- Possible substance use or abuse by the at-fault driver
- Diagrams, notes, and photos from the investigating officer
Complying with all requests for information as quickly as possible can help strengthen your evidence file. This can also be a huge help to your compensation claim.
Evidence that Proves Your Recoverable Financial Damages
Your lawyer may use a variety of documentation to prove the value of your recoverable damages. Documents your lawyer might request from you or on your behalf include:
- All accident-related medical bills from every treatment source
- Direct deposit records, tax records, and other proof of income loss
- Receipts for physical or emotional rehabilitation or counseling
- Vehicle repair receipts or proof of its current value
These documents may also help your lawyer prove your recoverable damages. According to CIV §1431.2, the recoverable damages in a personal injury case may include:
- Medical expenses to date and for necessary future care
- Loss of earnings to date and for future injury-related losses
- Reasonable funeral and burial costs, if a loved one died in the accident
- Vehicle or other personal property damage or destruction
- The cost of obtaining necessary in-home medical or domestic services
- Physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering, and inconvenience
Your legal team may help you prove your potential right to recover these damages and may also help you assess their value. Your lawyer’s goal is to establish a comprehensive value that might guide settlement negotiations and possibly lead to a favorable financial settlement.
Comply with California’s Statute of Limitations
California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1 generally entitles you to up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit for financial compensation after being injured in a car accident. The at-fault driver or his representative may request an immediate dismissal of your lawsuit if you file it beyond that timeline.
A personal injury lawyer can also use the accident’s documentation to establish the statutory date and ensure that you file your lawsuit within the allotted timeline.
Let Our Team Help Prove Your Right to Compensation
Knowing if you may be entitled to financial compensation from the at-fault driver after a car accident and what evidence is needed to prove negligence on their part might be challenging on your own. When our team represents you in your pursuit of financial compensation, we fight hard to ensure that that we meet your required legal elements and accurately evaluate your claim.
Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices is committed to helping injured clients fight for the financial compensation they may be entitled to when another person’s negligence leads to bodily injuries and property damage.
Reach out to us today by calling (866) 559-7223. A member of our car accident team is also standing by to provide you with a free consultation on your case.