Compensation is available in a negligence case if a victim/plaintiff proves each element (duty, breach, cause, and damages) by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Although this standard of proof is very low, an attorney must have enough evidence to meet this burden. This burden of proof is only the minimum requirement. Usually, there’s a relationship between the amount of proof presented and the amount of compensation awarded.
Therefore, in most cases, a Columbus car accident attorney must dig deep to find the evidence necessary to obtain maximum compensation. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages might be available as well, in some extreme cases.
Columbus personal injury attorneys often obtain maximum compensation with nothing but the police accident report, witness statements, and medical bills. Frequently, however, the minimum isn’t enough. Medical bills are a good example.
Medical bills usually contain accurate clinical diagnosis and treatment information. But they usually don’t contain treatment notes that indicate the victim’s pain level at a particular time. They also don’t indicate the need for future medical expenses.
Pain and suffering damages are subjective, but a victim/plaintiff must have some evidence to support this claim. Additionally, if the settlement doesn’t fully account for all likely future medical expenses, the victim could be financially responsible for them.
For these reasons, a Columbus personal injury attorney often partners with another physician. This doctor reviews records and opines about the victim’s pain level and the need for future medical procedures. Moreover, in Ohio, someone, usually a non-treating physician, must testify that treatment expenses were reasonable.
The two other pillars of evidence might be weak as well. Accident reconstruction engineers almost never prepare police reports. Witnesses are often legally incompetent, for one reason or another.
A vehicle’s Event Data Recorder, surveillance video, and additional witness statements often supplement this evidence.
Event Data Recorders measure and store vehicle speed, steering angle, brake application, and other operational data. Attorneys skillfully put this evidence together, like the ingredients in a fine dessert, and present them to jurors.
Legal and practical issues could keep EDR evidence out of a courtroom. A Columbus personal injury attorney usually needs a court order to overcome privacy laws and inspect the EDR. Furthermore, an EDR is a very sophisticated tool. A lawyer needs the proper tools and training to tap into these gadgets.
A camera is like a live witness who is never incorrect or biased. Even if the camera was a block or two away from the wreck, it might have recorded a key detail that makes the difference.
Skilled lawyers also find additional witnesses. For one reason or another, many people don’t voluntarily come forward at the scene.
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