Until you consider filing a car accident injury lawsuit, you probably don’t think very much about what kinds of evidence are most important to win these lawsuits and why. When you meet with a car accident injury lawyer to discuss your case, the lawyer will help you present your evidence in the most persuasive way possible; these are some important concepts related to evidence in car accident lawsuits.
Q: What Do You Have to Prove in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A: Your goal as a plaintiff is to convince the court that the defendant should be responsible for paying you compensation because of your injuries. In a car accident injury lawsuit, you must prove that the defendant’s actions (or failure to act) caused the accident, the accident caused your injuries, and your injuries caused your financial losses. If you can do this, then according to the law, it is fair to require the defendant to reimburse you for these losses.
Q: What Is a Preponderance of the Evidence?
A: Preponderance of the evidence means that, based on the evidence, there is a greater than 50 percent chance that your claim is true. In a personal injury lawsuit, you do not have to prove your claims beyond a reasonable doubt, like the prosecution does in criminal cases; you must only show a preponderance of the evidence.
Q: What Is the Daubert Standard?
A: The Daubert standard is a rule regarding scientific studies presented by expert witnesses in legal cases. It states that, when expert witnesses cite medical studies in their testimony, these studies must use human patients and must state their methodology. It is important in personal injury cases because expert witnesses sometimes need to cite published studies to explain an injured plaintiff’s prognosis or to show why a costly treatment is necessary.
Q: What Is the Collateral Source Rule?
A: The collateral source rule means that if you, the injured plaintiff, have received compensation related to your injuries from someone other than the defendant, the court does not have a right to know this because it is not relevant to your lawsuit against the defendant.
Q: If I Win My Case, Will the Damages Be Equal to Three Times My Medical Bills?
A: Not necessarily. Some plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits request non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate the plaintiff for ways that the accident negatively affected the plaintiff besides the money the plaintiff lost because of medical bills and being unable to work. A formula called the general damages multiplier is used to calculate the amount of non-economic damages. Depending on the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries, the amount can be anywhere from 1.5 to five times the amount of medical bills.
Contact Dana and Dana About Car Accident Cases
A personal injury lawyer can help you present your strongest evidence in order to receive a court decision in your favor. Contact Dana and 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.