If you are considering a premises liability claim, its success will depend in part on the strength of your evidence. Property owners and their insurance companies are not known for their generosity. If you cannot make a compelling case that you are entitled to compensation, the odds are good that your claim will be denied. Strong evidence is needed to maximize your chances of financial recovery.
Ultimately, the material you could potentially use at trial is governed by the rules of evidence in your jurisdiction. For federal lawsuits, the Federal Rules of Evidence will ultimately determine what could be admitted at trial, according to the Legal Information Institute (LII).
It is worth remembering that evidence that may not be introduced at trial could still be useful in the negotiation process. Consider the following examples of the evidence you need to file a premises liability claim.
When Evidence Is Needed for Your Claim
If you intend to pursue a premises liability claim, it is in your best interest to build the strongest case possible from the very start. Some claimants assume their case will settle and are unconcerned about developing evidence for trial. However, the reality is that building a strong claim could dramatically increase the chances of a settlement early on in the process.
Insurance companies have little reason to accept claims when liability is unclear. When there is a dispute regarding the facts of a premises liability accident, whether or not the insurance company accepts the claim will likely come down to the evidence provided by the plaintiff.
Using Evidence in Premises Liability Cases
The evidence available in premises liability cases can vary. In accidents that occur on government property, there could be substantial evidence, including security footage or written incident reports.
When these injuries occur on private property, the amount of evidence available might not be as robust. It is our job to identify the strongest evidence possible for our client’s claim. Some types of evidence in these cases may include:
The testimony of an independent witness could be invaluable to your case. Often, the parties in a premises liability case will disagree on exactly how an injury occurred. An independent witness could give a jury an unbiased view of how your accident happened.
Photographic evidence could also play an important part in your premises liability claim. This could include photos of the hazard that caused your injury or of the injury itself.
Not all of your witnesses are there to testify about what they witnessed at the time of your accident. Expert witnesses could provide their expert advice on important factors in your case. Examples could include an engineering expert testifying on liability issues or a medical expert reviewing your hospital records for the jury.
Not every piece of evidence in your premises liability claim will be related to determining liability. You must also provide evidence that demonstrates the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
One of the primary forms of compensation you could be entitled to recover could be your lost wages. Your employment records could identify the amount of income you have missed due to your injuries. Likewise, it could give the courts enough information to identify what you are owed for any future diminished earning power.
Like your employment records, medical records can also play a big part in establishing the damages you are owed. Your medical records are the best evidence of the severity of your injuries.
These records could not only establish the compensation you deserve for your hospital bills but they could also be used in identifying the amount of pain and suffering compensation you deserve.
When accidents happen on the property owned by large companies or the government, the chances are good that there was a report issued regarding your injuries. A copy of that report could be valuable, even if it is not ultimately admissible at trial.
These reports could help you make your case during settlement negotiations, especially if they reflect employees or agents of the defendant taking responsibility for the accident.
A Strong Case Could Result in Monetary Compensation
The evidence you obtain for your premises liability claim could make the difference in recovering the damages you deserve and walking away with nothing.
The good news is that our legal team could take the reins and build your case from the ground up. Our attorneys stand ready to advise you on the evidence you need to file a premises liability claim. For a free consultation, call as soon as possible.