How Important Are Evidence And Witnesses In An Auto Accident Claim?
Evidence and witnesses are extremely important, and their importance depends on the case. For example, if you make a left hand turn in front of someone and they hit you, there’s a lot of evidence in terms of what color was the light, who was at the stop sign first, who had the right of way, how many lanes of traffic were there. So it’s extremely important in cases where liability is disputed. If we can’t get evidence early on for proving our client’s case, then oftentimes we have to withdraw.
Witnesses play a key role in that. If it’s a he said, she said case, with someone saying no, my light was green, and the other one saying no, my light was green, at that point there’s nothing we can do because the parties cancel each other out and there’s no further evidence. In the state of Utah you have to prove your case by more than 50%. In other words, if it went to a jury and the jury said each party was equally at fault, there is no recovery in that case. So you have to be able to prove your case by more than 50%, and witnesses and evidence can be the key role in making or breaking a case. So the earlier an attorney can get involved, the better.
What Is The Importance Of Medical Treatment In An Auto Accident Claim?
Attorneys always want to try to find a way to help people, but there are certainly occasions where there’s just nothing they can do, and the ultimate audience, whether it’s negotiating with an adjustor or not, is what would a jury award in this case. Attorneys have to keep that in the back of their mind as they negotiate. For example, if a client didn’t seek treatment for a couple months following a collision and then suddenly they can’t stand the pain anymore and seek treatment, this is going to be hard to sell to a jury.
Juries think, “If that were me, I would have gotten care right away,” so they don’t want to believe a person that has that kind of gap in treatment. It’s important to get care within the first few weeks. Now once you’ve sought treatment, then it’s also important to follow up on that care. Certainly, there are situations where people have to wait months to get into a specialist or see a surgeon about whether they might need a surgery. That’s understandable. But what’s not understandable to a jury is if you’re with a physical therapist or a chiropractor and their treatment plan says to come in two to three times a week for six weeks and you have two- or three-week gaps where you’re not going in at all and there’s no good reason for it.
Gaps in treatment are absolute case killers. If they get too big, for example, if you don’t get treatment for over a month following an accident that makes it tough. Those kinds of things are vital. Again, following a treatment plan is important. If a doctor says you need to follow up in four weeks if you’re still feeling pain and there’s no follow up, then you say you’re in pain a couple months later, that doesn’t work.
You’ve got to follow the advice and treatment plan that your provider gives you and also get into treatment as soon as possible.
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