If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the neglect of someone else, certain evidence will be necessary to prove your personal injury case. Information regarding the events prior to, during and after the accident, any damage to your vehicle, any injuries you may have sustained and the observations of any independent witnesses will be relevant to the case. This information can also be used to prove your entitlement to compensation from the Insurance Corporation British Columbia (ICBC).
An accident lawyer in Vancouver at Bronson Jones & Company LLP will be able to assist you in obtaining specific types of evidence, many of which are listed here.
One of the most important documents is the BC Motor Vehicle Traffic Accident Police Investigation Report. This document is created when a police officer attends the scene of an accident. The accident time and location, the identity of the involved parties and their insurance information should all be on the report. The officer will also fill in codes indicating his or her view of the “contributing factors” to the accident. In the event there has been a traffic violation, the attending officer will indicate any tickets or charges.
Ambulance and Emergency Response Reports
When injuries occur in a motor vehicle accident, the fire department or ambulance service may attend at the scene. An ambulance will provide transportation to the most appropriate care facility and paramedics will assess and monitor the injuries from the time of arrival until the time of transfer at the hospital. The ambulance report can be significant to your personal injury case, especially if you sustained a head injury. Paramedics are trained to test and document all physical and psychological injuries observed immediately following an accident.
Refusing to be assessed by first response medical providers or declining ambulance transport may be used as evidence that your injuries were insignificant. This could prejudice your potential personal injury claim.
Hospital and Medical Records
Hospital records may also be used as evidence of the nature and severity of your injuries following an accident. Medical records will contain the emergency room doctor’s assessment of your injuries as well as any tests or follow up that are recommended. If you have suffered any physical or emotional trauma resulting from a motor vehicle accident, it is vital that you fully describe it to the attending doctor or nurse. You may be prescribed medication and it is important that you follow any instructions the doctor gives to you. Medical reports indicating a refusal of treatment can be used as evidence against you in a personal injury case, as can failing to pursue recommended treatment.
Accident Reconstruction – Forensic Report
There may be factors that make it difficult to determine how and why an accident occurred. These factors may include a lack of witnesses, limited emergency services in a remote location or poor recollection by those involved in the accident. In serious cases, an injured person may have no memory of the accident at all.
In these circumstances, your accident lawyer in Vancouver may recommend that an accident reconstruction expert conduct an assessment and prepare a report that can be used as evidence in your case. Preservation of your damaged vehicle will be important, especially if you have been involved in an accident that rendered you unconscious. An accident reconstruction report is likely to provide details you are unable to provide yourself.
Social Media Evidence
Social media posts are increasingly used to defend personal injury claims. The Supreme Court of British Columbia’s Rules of Court require all parties to disclose documents that are relevant to the issues in the lawsuit. In a number of decisions, the courts have ruled that in a personal injury claim, relevant documents include postings and pictures on social media.
For example, in Fric v. Gershman, 2012 BCSC 614, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled that pictures and information posted to Facebook must be produced. Ms. Fric sustained headaches, neck and back pain and rib pain from a 2008 motor vehicle accident. Her publicly available Facebook page shared only some information and did not include any photographs or other content. A written demand under Rule 7-1(11) requested Ms. Fric to list and produce Facebook photographs not publicly posted, but she did not comply. Master Bouck then ordered Ms. Fric to produce all Facebook photographs related to her participation in a school sports trip and all photographs related to vacations taken after the accident, finding they were relevant to her claim of physical impairment and social withdrawal.
Contact Bronson Jones & Company LLP for Your Vancouver Personal Injury Claim
Your Vancouver personal injury lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company LLP have the experience, resources and expertise both to evaluate the relevance of evidence and to assist you in obtaining the best evidence to support your personal injury claim. Contact us for your free initial consultation at 1-855-852-5100.