MEANS OF PROOF TO PROVE A FALL IN THE STREET: In the previous post “How to prove a fall in the street in order to claim”, we explained the points to take into account to prove the responsibility of the Administration, if we have suffered a fall in the street.
In this article, we are going to appoint the key means of proof to use enclosed with the claim letter that we present against the Administration, to prove the damages that we have suffered.
Basic means of proof in these cases are: documentary proof and expert evidence.
In respect to documentary proof, all the documents are collected here, apart from the expert report. Namely:
- Pictures of the area where the fall was caused, where it is showed the state of the street at the moment of the fall, in order to demonstrate that the state of the street or the existence of elements of risk were the cause of the fall. We previously said the pictures must show the state of the street at the moment of the fall, because the Administration sometimes starts, after the fall, a reconstruction of the area where the fall was caused, so if we did not have any picture of the previous state of the street, showing the bad state, it would really difficult to prove that we fell due to the state of the street.
- Pictures of the area where the fall was caused, and where it showed that the Administration has done alterations or has improved the area after our fall, as we said before. In this way, we will be able to prove that the Administration is tacitly admitting the existence of a risk in this area, before the renovation of the street.
- Medical reports proving the injuries and sequels suffered, such as the emergency admission at the hospital, the subsequent reports of medical examination, the medical tests, surgery if needed, etc.
- Evaluation report of the permanent injuries and sequels that exist once the injured has been discharged. This is quantified in points, depending on the severity of the injuries and sequels and the age of the injured, and it is establishes established by applying a indicative compensation table, updated annually by the government. This report does not need to be signed by a medical expert, we can require a doctor to do the evaluation of the number of points that we have to apply for the particular injuries and sequels, but it is not necessary a report of an expert.
- Report of the starting date of the sick leave and the day when the injured was discharged to be able to determine the number of days that we have been unable to work or to do everyday tasks, because the number of days has to be evaluated as well in order to quantify the compensation. It is not required that the injured were working at the moment of the fall to take into consideration the number of days; however, the compensation will be calculated, logically, in a different way (there is a division between impeditive and not impeditive days in the indicative compensation table).
- Ultimately, in case we have knowledge of other falls in this area, it it would be interesting to see if there were a record of others claims made against the District Board, related to this area. In this way, if we can provide a report in this regard, we are proving that the City Council had knowledge of the danger of the area and the risk of fall, and it will help us to conclude the causal relation between the public service and the damage caused.
In regard of expert evidence, it is always going to be a necessary proof, because it is an evaluation of a technical expert, who determines if the area complies with the current regulations in the subject, and if the state of the street propitiated a risk, so we must always provide a report of an independent expert, which proves those aspects. The expert will issue the report after examining the area.
Finally, we need to talk about the witness evidence. It is not a key mean of proof because we will not always have it, but if we are lucky and someone passing by saw our fall and the fall was caused because of the bad state of the street and not because a lack of diligence, we must persuade this person to make a statement of what he/she saw to provide one more evidence of our version of the facts.