After an injured victim has filed a personal injury claim and has hired a personal injury lawyer in Huntsville, that client-lawyer team must collect the evidence that will help them to prove their case. Without good evidence, a lawyer’s chances for winning a given case seem quite slim. That fact underscores the need for preservation of the evidentiary material.
What sorts of items need to be preserved?
• Any item taken from the scene of the accident
• Witness accounts
• Written records, including notes written by the injured client/victim
• Official reports, such as the police report
• Medical records
• Work records
• Photographs of the scene, of damage and of injuries
• Property damage reports, including bills for repair work or receipts obtained during the purchase of a replacement
Who needs to see the evidence?
• The legal team that is supporting the injured victim
• The insurance company
• The court
General guidelines for preserving evidence
Label the collected materials, but do not put a mark on any item. If collected item already contains some sort of mark (such as a time-stamp on a ticket from a parking lot), that does not diminish its value. Place each item in a plastic bag, and label the bag. Indicate the time when the bagged item was part of either the incident that triggered the claim, or the investigation of the same incident.
Make a copy of all written information. Save the original document in one location and the copy in a second location.
Specific guidelines for various types of evidentiary materials
If at scene of a reported slip and fall incident, look for things like an uneven pavement or a broken railing on a staircase.
If investigating a motor vehicle accident, check for possible presence at the scene of a defective traffic light, overhanging branches near a posted sign, or altered markings on such a sign.
Create a folder or a drawer that can be used for holding valuable documents. Collect notes on the plan for treating your injury. Store such notes in same place as the written remarks that have been placed in a journal or diary, in order to record instances of pain. If possible, keep any bills or any correspondence from your healthcare insurance in the same location.
If you need to create a second folder, consider placing a paper that can act like a table of contents inside of each folder. That way you will know what document can be found in the older of the 2 folders, and which one has been stored in a newer folder.
You cannot put numbers on the documents, but you can put a paper clip on each of them. In that way, you can number each of the preserved and bagged documents.