If you have been injured in a South Carolina car accident, the last thing on your mind is legal burdens of proof. You are likely far busier worrying about recovering from your injuries, getting back to work and tackling the mounting medical bills that the accident created. Although proving injuries in court may not seem important given the other matters weighing on your mind, the reality is that you will have to prove your damages before you will be able to collect money from those responsible for the accident. To find out more about how to prove your injuries and damages in a South Carolina car wreck, keep reading.
What do you need to prove?
Before an injured plaintiff is allowed to collect compensation for car accident injuries, he or she must be able to sufficiently demonstrate to a judge or jury that the injuries suffered were caused by the accident in question and not by something else.
What about preexisting injuries?
In South Carolina, many people mistakenly believe that if you suffer from a preexisting condition that has been worsened by a car accident, there is no hope for financial recovery. Thankfully, this is wrong. The law in South Carolina regarding personal injury cases says that an injured plaintiff should be put back into the same position that he or she enjoyed prior to the accident. That means that if an accident leads to a worsening of a preexisting condition, the injured plaintiff still has a right to financial compensation. The law says that defendants in South Carolina injury cases must take the victim as they find them—meaning preexisting conditions cannot act as a bar to recovery.
Medical records are a common means of proving injuries in a South Carolina car wreck case. This is why it is so important to seek medical treatment immediately after an auto accident. The sooner you seek medical care and have your injuries officially recorded, the harder it will be for insurance companies to later claim those injuries were the result of something other than the accident.
For those with preexisting injuries, medical records can be crucial to demonstrating your condition prior to the accident. By comparing your medical records before and after the accident, it can be quite easy to demonstrate the ways in which the accident exacerbated your condition.
Given how crucial these medical records can be to proving a car wreck injury case, it is important that all injured plaintiffs keep a careful record of each and every doctor’s appointment, rehab session or hospital visit that takes place after the accident. Marking on a calendar when and with whom the appointment took place will make it easy for your lawyer to compile all your records later on.
Beyond looking at medical records, your South Carolina personal injury attorney can also call on expert witnesses to discuss your injuries and explain how those injuries resulted from the car wreck. These expert witnesses are almost always doctors who have read through your medical file and are then able to walk a jury through an explanation of how injuries like yours commonly result from accidents similar to the one that happened in your case. It’s the expert’s job to connect the dots between your injuries and the accident you experienced.
Beyond expert witnesses, your lawyer might also call on non-experts to testify regarding the extent of injuries, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. These friends or family members can describe your condition prior to the accident and contrast it with your current condition. These non-experts are also able to testify to the harm the accident caused you, including the impact your injuries have had on your daily life. For example, a family member might explain how your injuries led you to have trouble sleeping and have resulted in an inability to perform normal activities such as cooking dinner or doing laundry. These kinds of factors can be very important in serious injury cases.
If you have questions about your case, or would like a free consultation, contact Greenville Automobile Accident Lawyer David r. Price, Jr. at 864-271-2636, or click the “LIVE CHAT” button on this page.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.