Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

What Evidence Will Be Persuasive and How Do I Obtain It?

Posted Thursday, April 21, 2016 by Chris Thayer

Obtaining persuasive evidence is important to a successful resolution of your personal injury case. With evidence, you can prove your claims. Without it, you cannot. As a personal injury claimant, you should speak with your Seattle injury lawyer about the specifics of your case and what you can do to help gather evidence. Your attorney will have a game plan and can give you guidance.Several types of evidence can help you in your personal injury case:• Demonstrative evidence. This is physical proof that generally has the form of representing an object. Some examples are photographs, diagrams, graphs, charts, or any other physical items that tend to show or depict proof of an object or a fact. For example, if you were injured in an auto accident, a diagram could be used to depict the scene of the accident.• Physical evidence. This is any type of proof introduced in the form of a physical object, whether in whole or in part. Examples are a footprint, a toy, a vehicle, or hair.• Documentary evidence. This is evidence that takes an actual documentary form and can be presented in writing. Examples include reports, statements, policies, bills, contracts, and wills.• Digital evidence. This is proof obtained from any electronic source. Examples include phone or computer data, emails, hard drives, instant message logs, and any form of electronic communication. • Exculpatory evidence. This is the so-called ‘smoking gun’ proof which is usually used in criminal cases but it can be applicable in personal injury cases. This would include any fact or thing that would prove guilt, innocence, or liability. Examples include a confession, a photograph, or a statement.• Testimony. This includes actual direct testimony from a sworn witness whether it be in court, at a proceeding or at a deposition. Statements such as reports, utterances, phone messages, depositions, and text messages can be used to impeach a witness.• Scientific evidence. This would be proof that conforms to the standards of the scientific community or another recognized field of expertise. Examples would be verifying DNA, metal, auto parts, or how a toy or mechanism functions. For example, if you were in an auto accident and the air bag did not deploy, scientific evidence could be used to prove that the air bag did not function properly. Or, if a driver of a vehicle was driving too fast and caused an accident, scientific evidence could be used to prove the rate of speed that driver was travelling when the accident occurred.

What evidence will be persuasive?

What constitutes evidence in your case depends on the facts and claims of your case. When gathering evidence, it is essential that you do so with your attorney’s leadership. This is true for several reasons:• Your attorney is your guide. Many litigants have not had any experience with the personal injury process. The facts which gave rise to their injury, such as an accident, may be their first experience. Or they are dealing with grief and trauma and may not know what to expect from the process. An attorney experienced in handling personal injury cases will keep you informed of the developments in your case, give you guidance, and reassure you as appropriate.• Ensure the admissibility of evidence. As your case proceeds, it is important that your evidence is authenticated according to the rules of evidence. For example, if you have a text message or a photo which could help your case, it is important that you preserve that evidence according to evidence laws. Your attorney can advise you how to do this.• Help you understand what is relevant to your case. What you think is a winning hand or piece of evidence may not be very relevant to your case. Conversely, a fact or piece of evidence which you did not think was important could turn out to be the evidence that persuades a judge or jury to rule in your favor or an insurance company or defendant to offer you a favorable settlement.
• Preserve the chain of custody of evidence. Preserving the chain of custody refers to preserving evidence in its original state to prove that it came from a specified source. For example, if you have computer or phone data, you would want to ensure that it can be proven that the evidence came from your phone or computer. Your attorney can instruct you or an expert how to preserve all evidence to ensure that it is admissible in a proceeding.
• Advise you how to approach a witness. It is important that you approach a witness in an appropriate way so as to ensure their cooperation. If witness interviews are done correctly, for example, a witness may be more likely to volunteer information that could help your case. Whereas a witness who is scared or feels backed into a corner may tend to clam up or forget important facts.• Make the best use of experts. A good expert can make the difference between winning and losing your case or obtaining a more favorable settlement. Experts have years of professional experience and can have credibility with the opposing party and the court. Your attorney may have a game plan, relationships with experts, and the expertise necessary to hire and use experts which can result in a favorable outcome in your case.

In his evaluation of your case, Seattle injury lawyer Chris Thayer will outline for you the evidence that will help obtain a successful outcome. 206-340-2008.