If you were hurt in a motor-vehicle collision that you didn’t cause, you may be entitled to compensation for the associated damages. In order to recover damages in a third-party insurance claim, however, you’ll have to determine who was ultimately responsible—and then you’ll have to prove it.
Naturally, the kinds of evidence you’ll need to gather when building your case will depend on the circumstances surrounding the wreck. Since every accident is unique, so is every corresponding claim. There are, however, several types of proof that contribute to many cases in one way or another. Read on to learn what they are:
1. The Official Police Report
Responding officers should have filed an incident report with their municipality after leaving the scene. In addition to stating the basic details of the accident—like the date, time, and location—this document may include their initial impressions of all those who were involved.
If police suspected one of the motorists was drowsy, for example, they likely noted as much in their report. While this document won’t serve as indisputable evidence of fault, it could provide a jumping off point for a more comprehensive investigation by your legal team.
2. Photographs of the Scene
Accident reconstruction experts may be able to figure out what happened leading up to the crash by evaluating photographs of the scene. If you captured the wreckage before leaving the area, give the images to your personal injury attorney, who will consult with the necessary experts.
3. Video Footage
If the collision occurred in a fairly bustling area, it was probably captured by at least one dash camera or surveillance system in the vicinity. Since any such footage may be overwritten in a matter of weeks, though, it’s essential to call a lawyer who can track down the recordings as soon as possible.
4. Cell Phone Records
Distracted driving is responsible for thousands of traffic fatalities—and many more injuries—every year. If the motorist who struck you was texting at the time, his or her cell phone records should prove as much. Since the carrier is unlikely to release them without legal pressure, though, your lawyer may have to file a subpoena to obtain them.
5. Toxicology Reports
If the responding officers had reason to believe one or more of the motorists who were involved were impaired, they probably conducted chemical tests at the scene or shortly thereafter. Depending on the circumstances, the results of these tests could prove valuable to your claim and may enable you to pursue punitive damages.
6. Black Box Data
Nowadays, many vehicles are equipped with event data recorders, or “black boxes,” which record all kinds of operational variables. Examples include speed, brake application, and airbag deployment. If your legal team thinks the data from the vehicles that were involved might help your claim, they will take the steps needed to secure it.
Call (727) 821-1500 to Discuss Your Case with a Car Accident Lawyer
If you’re recovering from injuries sustained in an auto wreck that someone else caused, turn to Emerson Straw PL. Our resourceful team will help you gather the evidence needed to build a strong claim so you can seek fair compensation.
We’ve recovered more than $27 million for our clients in personal injury and wrongful death actions. Call (727) 821-1500 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a car accident attorney.