How to Prove Fault When You've Been Injured

Daisy Rogozinsky
May 26, 2022
Last reviewed by
Boruch Burnham, Esq.
March 28, 2023

If you file a civil personal injury lawsuit following an accident in which somebody else caused your injury, you will be required to establish that the defendant was at fault to recover damages. In this article, we’ll offer a step-by-step guide to establishing fault so that you can be compensated for your injuries.

1. Use Evidence from the Scene

The first thing you can use to prove who was at fault for your injury is evidence from the scene of the accident itself. This can be a number of things, including:

  • Photos and videos of the scene of the accident
  • Photos and videos of the injury
  • Notes on the circumstances of the accident
  • Diagrams of the accident

Which type of the above evidence is most relevant will depend on the circumstances of the accident itself. For example, if you had a slip and fall accident, you can take a photo of the wet spot you slipped on as well as a 360-degree video that shows that there was no hazard marking in sight.  

2. Use Police Reports

Another type of evidence that can be extremely useful in personal injury cases is a police report. If you call the police to the scene of your accident, they will draft and file an official report with details about the incident. Sometimes, they may even include their own determination about who was at fault. Because this is official documentation written by an unbiased third party, it will likely be given more evidential weight by the court than your testimony alone. The police officer or official who wrote the report may also be called as a witness to testify regarding the circumstances surrounding the accident and the determinations they arrived at based on the observations they made and any information obtained from the defendant and witnesses at the scene, such as their opinion as to whether the accident was caused by the defendant’s intentional, reckless, or negligent actions. 

3. Use Medical Evidence

When your claim is based on a physical injury, you may present medical evidence to support the claim, which is one of the reasons why it is so important to see a doctor or other healthcare professional as soon as possible after the accident occurred. Not only will they be able to treat you, but the medical records can serve as documentation regarding the nature and scope of your injuries, and the person(s) who treated you may also be called to testify on your behalf.

4. Use Witness Testimony

If there were any witnesses to your accident, their testimony could be used to prove fault for your injury. This is why it’s important to get the contact information of anybody who saw your accident while it was happening. It’s also recommended to have them give a statement at the scene itself while their memory of the accident is still fresh. This can be written or recorded. Witnesses could also potentially be called to testify in court, offering more proof of what happened.

5. Use Expert Testimony 

In certain situations, you can also use expert evidence to prove fault in your accident. This is especially useful when the case is particularly complicated, such as a medical malpractice lawsuit. In this type of situation, a medical professional can be used as an expert witness to testify that your injury was caused by medical malpractice. They will be able to offer an authoritative professional opinion about a matter that laymen might not understand on their own. This way, you will be able to demonstrate exactly how the defendant’s negligence led to your losses.

6. Use Security Camera Footage

While this is not always an option, if you can obtain security camera footage of your accident, it can be powerful evidence to prove fault for your injury. You can take it upon yourself as an individual to get in touch with anyone that may have had security cameras that captured your accident to see if they are willing to offer the footage to you. However, having your legal team do it for you will likely be easier and more effective.

7. Consider the Benefits of Working With a Lawyer

Having a lawyer represent you in a personal injury case can significantly increase the likelihood of prevailing in your personal injury case. A skilled attorney with extensive experience in personal injury law will use multiple avenues to prove fault in cases similar to yours, so they will know all of the options you have available to you for your particular case. They will also be able to help you understand which type of evidence will be strongest, most effective, and most likely to help you win your case. This is why it’s recommended that you contact and hire an attorney as soon as you can after your accident.

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