When Mississippi residents file lawsuits against negligent drivers after being involved in motor vehicle accidents, they must convince juries of two key elements if they hope to prevail. They must establish that they suffered injury, loss or damage in an accident caused wholly or partly by the negligent behavior of the defendant. Plaintiffs must also be able to justify the amount of the damages they are seeking, and this is generally done by providing juries with documents such as medical bills, bank statements, and paystubs.
Juries also take factors like mental anguish and pain and suffering into consideration when determining how much to award successful plaintiffs, but the arguments they hear before making these decisions are often complex and highly technical. Detailed medical records are often crucial in these situations, and they may be particularly valuable when defendants argue that the injuries suffered by plaintiffs were either caused or aggravated by a prior trauma or preexisting condition.
Police reports can also be useful sources of information in car accident cases. Juries generally give credence to the testimony of first responders, and accident investigators, police officers and paramedics often record their observations and personal opinions in official documentation. Police reports can also provide plaintiffs or their attorneys with information about eyewitnesses who may be able to provide juries with compelling accounts of the events in question.
When official sources are vague or contradictory, experienced personal injury attorneys may visit car accident scenes to conduct additional investigations. They could check the area for surveillance cameras or witnesses that were not spoken to by police, and they may also take photographs of the road surface and nearby signage. These images could provide juries with a clearer picture of the area and may be used counter claims that debris, misleading street signs or inadequate road maintenance played a role.