Only a small portion of car accidents end up in a legal dispute that a judge must decide. Most of the time, the insurance company offers the injured person a certain amount of money as a settlement, and the injured person accepts the offer by signing the offer letter and then receives the check in the mail a short time later. If the money that the insurance company offers is not enough, you can contact a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer about filing a lawsuit against the driver of the car that hit you or against any other party that bears legal responsibility for the accident.
Many times, the defendant will agree to settle for a larger amount than what the insurance company offered you, just because they don’t want to go to court, lose the case, and have the judge order them to pay a huge amount. Only if they insist that they are not responsible for your injuries or that you do not need the amount of money you are requesting do you have to take a car accident injury lawsuit to court, and if that happens, you need strong evidence, some of which witnesses can provide.
Evidence in Car Accident Injury Lawsuits
In a personal injury lawsuit, it is the plaintiff’s duty to persuade the court that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries or failed to prevent them; if the plaintiff cannot do this, the court gives the defendant the benefit of the doubt.
As for how strong the evidence needs to be, the rule is “a preponderance of the evidence,” which means that the evidence shows that it is more likely than not that the defendant is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries. This is a lower standard of evidence than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that’s required to convict a defendant in a criminal case.
Types of Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases
Witness testimony can be an important part of the evidence in a personal injury lawsuit. Generally, witnesses in car accident injury lawsuits fall into two categories: eyewitnesses and expert witnesses. Eyewitnesses are people who saw the accident or its effects, such as people who were in the car with you during the accident, police officers who responded to the accident, or doctors and nurses who treated you in the emergency room.
Expert witnesses are people who are not directly connected to the accident but who can objectively provide information about your medical condition. For example, if you required back surgery after an accident, a spinal surgeon who has never treated you can provide general information about the type of surgery you had, its necessity, its prognosis, and the required recovery time. Choosing expert witnesses and deciding what questions to ask them is an important part of a personal injury lawyer’s job.
Contact Dana & Dana About Car Accident Cases
A skilled Rhode Island personal injury lawyer can use witness testimony to help you plead your case in the most persuasive way possible. Contact Dana & Dana, a personal injury law firm in Providence, Rhode Island to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Mark Dana has been practicing in Rhode Island for over 25 years. He has handled hundreds of cases in courthouses throughout the state. Due to Attorney Dana’s knowledge and reputation, he can often be seen appearing as the legal commentator for NBC 10 in Providence.