• Jan 23, 2023|
  • Posted by: The Francis Firm|
  • Read Time: 4 minutes

Understanding the Role of Evidence in a Personal Injury Claim

Suppose you've been involved in an accident in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area and suffered an injury due to another person's or entity's negligence. In that case, you might be wondering what level of evidence you need to support your claim and recover the compensation you deserve.

Compelling evidence is key to a successful outcome, whether you suffered severe injuries in a car accident, a slip and fall incident, a truck accident, or other preventable mishaps.

The presentation of evidence is equally important when setting up your claim for success. Properly submitted evidence will play a vital role in establishing fault in your personal injury case and can also affect the damages awarded.

Gathering crucial evidence and filing a personal injury case should be done with the help of an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney. Nonetheless, it helps to understand the most common circumstantial and physical evidence needed for a personal injury claim.

Defining Burden of Proof

In a legal dispute, the burden of proof is "the standard that a party seeking to prove a fact in court must satisfy to have that fact legally established."

In Texas, personal injury plaintiffs have the burden of proof and must show that their claims are true by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that their claim is "more likely than not" true compared to the defendant's case.

In other words, as a claimant, you must provide convincing evidence to prove that your claim is at least 51 percent true in order to obtain monetary compensation from a defendant.

Note that under the modified comparative negligence standard in Texas, you cannot obtain any financial compensation if you are found to be more than 50 percent to blame for an injury-inducing accident.

While the preponderance of the evidence is a lesser burden of proof than "proof beyond a reasonable doubt," it can still be a challenging bar for you to meet without the assistance of an experienced attorney. When you are required to prove your case, it's up to you to convince the judge or jury that your side is correct. If you fail to satisfy this burden of proof, then you will lose your personal injury case.

Elements of Proof Necessary for a Personal Injury Claim

In a Dallas personal injury case, you meet your burden of proof by proving the four elements of negligence as being most likely to be true:

  1. The defendant owed you a legal obligation to act in a reasonable manner.
  2. The defendant breached their legal obligation or duty to exercise reasonable care.
  3. The defendant's failure to exercise reasonable caution caused your injuries. That is, there is a link between the defendant's actions or omissions and your injury.
  4. You suffered compensable damages in the incident or accident.

What Types of Evidence Are Needed To Satisfy the Burden of Proof in Texas Personal Injury Cases?

One of the most effective ways to satisfy the burden of proof in a personal injury case in Dallas, TX, is to present sufficiently persuasive and credible evidence that convinces the judge or jury of the defendant's fault.

Personal injury evidence can come in many forms, and the Dallas personal injury attorneys at The Francis Firm can help you identify and collect crucial evidence and documents to strengthen your claim. We understand that building a substantial claim requires detailed attention and preparation.

Here is a summary of the different types of evidence that can help you achieve a favorable settlement.

Medical Records and Documentation

These can include medical bills, treatment records, and doctor's reports, which can help establish the nature and extent of the injuries you suffered. The Francis Firm will not only help you get the medical care you need but also document and keep records of your treatment.

Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitnesses to the accident or incident can provide valuable testimony about what happened as well as any physical evidence, such as pictures or videos.

Official Accident Reports

Depending on your case, this could be a confidential report written by an accident reconstruction specialist, a police accident report, or an incident report from the site manager or property owner where your injury occurred.

Expert Testimony

Experts in fields like engineering, accident reconstruction, and medicine may be asked for their opinion on what caused the accident or how bad the injuries are.

Physical Evidence

This can include items such as a vehicle involved in a car accident or any damaged property in a slip-and-fall case.

Photographs and Videos

These can show what happened at the accident scene, how hurt the plaintiff was, and what kind of shape any equipment or property was in after the accident.

Documentation

This can include insurance policies and statements, hospital bills, statements signed by the other party, police reports, accident reports, bank statements, or any other paperwork related to the incident.

It's worth noting that all the evidence you present must be relevant and credible; otherwise, it can be considered inadmissible.

Crucial Evidence Can Disappear Over Time

The best way to ensure you get crucial evidence in a timely manner is to hire a good Dallas personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At The Francis Firm, our legal team knows that important evidence can "vanish" unless proactive measures are taken. Truck driver logbooks can mysteriously disappear, skid marks where a crash occurred can degrade quickly, and footage from surveillance cameras may be deleted. In addition, strict time limits exist for filing injury claims in Texas.

That's why we take immediate steps to gather and preserve crucial evidence regarding who may be liable.

Free Initial Consultation With an Experienced Dallas Personal Injury Attorney

Investigating the evidence needed for a personal injury claim, promptly obtaining it, and determining you have sufficient evidence are complex and demanding tasks. It would be beneficial to have a personal injury attorney from Fort Worth in your corner to help collect and organize your evidence.

Talk to the experienced personal injury lawyers at The Francis Firm if you have any legal concerns regarding the role of evidence in your Dallas injury case. We strive to give you the peace of mind you need to recover following your tragic accident. Call us today at 817-329-9001 or complete our free case evaluation form now.

Author Photo

Michael Francis

Michael Francis is the founding partner of the Francis Firm and Flynn & Francis, LLP and has spent more than twenty-five years litigating personal injury and commercial litigation cases throughout the state of Texas and across the country. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

Michael focuses his legal practice on personal injury and business litigation cases, with a particular emphasis on trucking, motor vehicle and complex commercial litigation matters. Michael has more than twenty-five years of experience litigating cases throughout the State of Texas, against many of the largest corporations and insurance companies. He has secured verdicts and settlements for clients in excess of $20,000,000.