Being involved in a car accident is obviously stressful. Trying to keep your composure can be extremely difficult, to say the least. But keeping your head will be incredibly important – especially if the wreck isn’t your fault. The reason is you’ll need to try and gather the evidence you’ll need if you decide to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver.
The attorneys with Jones Law Group will be ready to help if you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to the actions of a negligent driver. Get in touch with us online or call (727) 571-1333 for a free consultation.
How is Evidence Used in a Car Accident Case?
The more evidence you can gather after an accident, the stronger your case will be. Photos, videos, voice recordings and other pieces of evidence will help you remember all of the details. They’ll also be the foundation on which your case will be built.
Evidence can be a huge help, whether you’re considering a lawsuit or you’re having issues with your insurance company. It will go a long way toward supporting you should your insurance adjuster say your claim should either be reduced, or denied completely.
Understanding the Burden of Proof and How it Affects Your Case
If you decide to pursue legal action, you will bear what is known in legal terms as the “burden of proof.” This basically just means that you, the plaintiff in the case, will have to prove that the other driver was to blame for the accident. You’ll also have the burden of proof if there’s any kind of dispute with your insurance company.
In order to meet that burden, you’ll have to produce evidence that supports the following:
- Your version of the circumstances that led to the accident.
- Your claims of lost wages.
- Your claims of physical injuries you suffered as a result of the accident.
These are just some of the different types of evidence that could greatly strengthen your case.
There are a lot of instances where the driver who caused the accident will admit fault at the scene, only to eventually change his or her story. If you don’t have a record of that driver’s statement – either through a police report or by somehow recording the statement yourself – then you won’t have any proof the statement was ever made.
Your first step should be to make sure the statement is in the police report. Anytime an accident occurs that results in an injury, the police must be called immediately after calling for medical help. Also, you could either take a video of the other driver making their statement, or make a recording by using your phone.
There’s also a pretty good chance there were other people who saw the accident take place, and know why it happened. You can gather witness statements in many ways. The best way will be through the police officers investigating the accident. If the wreck took place on an interstate, there may also be a Federal Highway Administration investigation. This could also be a good source.
Never forget that the defendant may try to use you as a witness to damage your case. Don’t speak with anyone representing the defendant, whether that’s an attorney, an insurance company or anyone else. If you accidentally say something wrong, that could severely damage the chances of winning your case. A skilled attorney might even be able to convince a jury that the wreck was your fault.
Photographs and Videos
Pictures and videos are about the most powerful pieces of evidence that the plaintiff in a personal injury case can gather. Photos can show just how an accident occurred. For example, skid marks behind the defendant’s vehicle indicate that they tried to come to a sudden stop. That will be a good indication that the defendant was speeding at the time of the accident.
In addition to photos at the accident scene, you’ll also want to consider taking pictures of your injuries as well, and damage to your vehicle. The more evidence you can gather through photographs and videos, the better.
Expert witnesses can also greatly help strengthen your case. Your attorney will, for instance, probably get an accident reconstruction specialist to testify. The person is an expert who uses scientific methods to determine exactly how an accident took place.
A medical expert witness may also be called to testify regarding how badly you were injured, and the lasting effects that may occur. Medical expert witnesses can show a jury how your quality of life will be impacted. Additionally, they will show how much it will cost to treat the injuries you suffered.
Medical Records and Payment Statements
These are other key pieces of evidence in a lawsuit stemming from a car accident. You need to make sure you hold on to every document relating to your injury. This could include statements from doctors, receipts, medical bills, prescriptions and anything else that has to do with your treatment.
This is extremely important, because a major portion of any settlement or jury award you will receive (if you’re successful, of course) will be based on your medical expenses.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Once you have received the medical attention you need, and you’ve reported the accident to police, your next step should be to get in touch with a seasoned, skilled attorney. Never trust that your insurance company will take care of your expenses. We’ve seen far too many instances where insurers did exactly the opposite. If the accident wasn’t your fault, an attorney will help you gather the evidence you need to have the best possible chance of seeing a positive result in your case.
The professionals with Jones Law Group have the experience and knowledge needed to help if you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Contact us online, use our Chat feature, or call 727-571-1333 for a free review of your case.