You may think that it’s obvious that the other driver was completely responsible for your car accident. However, the other driver may try to place the blame on you instead of admitting fault.
Therefore, if you are going to successfully recover compensation from the other party after a car accident, you must provide evidence showing the other driver was negligent. The more proof you have supporting your claim, the more likely you are to receive fair compensation for your injuries.
A car accident lawyer can help you gather evidence to prove the other driver was responsible for your collision and injuries. To find out if this is possible for you, schedule a free case review with a member of Judd Shaw Injury Law’s legal team today. Call us today at 1-866-909-6894 or complete the online contact form to get in touch.
Understanding the Burden of Proof in a Car Accident Case
When you allege that someone else was to blame for your car accident, you need evidence corroborating your version of events.
The term “burden of proof” refers to the amount of evidence needed in a legal case to prove the other party is liable for an event. In car accident cases, the burden of proof falls on the person making the claim – the person who needs to prove the other party was at fault and liable for the crash.
As the claimant in a car accident case, you will need to present evidence to establish the following elements:
- Duty of care: You will need to show that the at-fault driver owed you a duty of care to operate his or her vehicle safely.
- Breach of duty: Next, your lawyer will help you prove the defendant breached that duty of care by driving recklessly or negligently. For example, the other driver was speeding, tailgating, or texting and driving.
- Causation: Your personal injury lawyer will then help you demonstrate that the other driver’s breach of duty was the direct cause of your accident and injuries.
- Damages: Finally, you will need evidence that you suffered damages – such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering – as a result of the car accident.
Common Evidence Used to Establish Fault and Liability
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), in 2021, total motor vehicle injury costs were estimated at $498.3 million. If you were involved in a car accident caused by someone else, you must have effective evidence to establish negligence.
Photo and video evidence
Photos and videos taken at the accident scene can help corroborate your version of how the accident happened and who was to blame.
If your health allows following the car crash, try to capture the following photographic evidence:
- Damage to all vehicles involved
- Weather and road conditions
- Position of the vehicles immediately after the accident
- Skid marks
- Debris in the road
- Property damage to fences, buildings, and the surrounding area
- Traffic signs and signals
- Injuries you sustained
Videos and photos can demonstrate the direction from which your car was hit, the approximate speed of the oncoming vehicle, and other indications of fault. Documentation of weather conditions and debris in the road can show external factors that contributed to the collision. Photos of the damaged vehicles could provide evidence that a defective part contributed to the accident.
If you are rushed to the hospital immediately after the crash, you could ask a trusted family member, friend, or your car accident attorney to gather evidence at the scene of the accident.
Statements from eyewitnesses
Was anyone present at the scene when the car accident occurred? If possible, after the motor vehicle accident, seek out pedestrians or other eyewitnesses who witnessed the incident. See if they are willing to exchange contact information and make a brief recorded statement on your phone.
It is important to ask for witness statements while their memories are still fresh and before they leave the scene and cannot be found. Their honest recollection of what they saw can provide valuable evidence to prove fault.
If your car accident case goes to court, witness testimony – especially if the person does not have any connection to either party involved in the crash – can be powerful at trial. The statements of an independent third party can have a strong impact on a jury.
You should always notify law enforcement after a motor vehicle accident. An officer will arrive at the scene and complete an accident report, which can play a role in the determination of fault.
Some of the information provided in an accident report includes:
- Contact information for the other driver and the insurance company
- Statement of the other party’s version of events
- Citations issued at the accident scene
- Diagrams of the accident area
- Officers’ conclusions of who was at fault
Your lawyer can work to obtain a copy of all police reports relevant to your accident.
When showing damages suffered, one of the most important forms of evidence you can provide is your medical records. Medical documentation links your injuries to the car accident and is vital to recover reimbursement for your medical bills and expenses.
It is vital to both your health and your legal case to seek medical attention immediately following a collision. If you want too long to seek medical care, the other party’s insurance company can argue that your injuries were not caused by the car accident or are less severe than you claim.
Car accident lawyers often call on experts to testify to the events of an accident, demonstrate the defendant’s negligence, and confirm the value of the plaintiff’s damages.
Types of expert witnesses used to provide evidence in a car accident case include:
- Accident reconstructionists: Following a car accident, the details of the exact sequence of events may be unclear. But an accident reconstructionist can recreate a model of the accident scene to identify things such as the speed of both vehicles, the point of impact, and other factors to determine fault.
- Medical experts: A medical expert can describe the extent of your injuries sustained in the auto accident and provide insight into how these injuries could impact your life going forward. This information can be crucial when determining the value of medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
- Vocational experts: Vocational experts can offer information regarding how your injuries are likely to impact your ability to perform your job and how your career could be affected long term. If the car accident caused a permanent disability, a vocational expert can explain the reasons why you are no longer able to perform your work as before.
Our Car Accident Lawyers Can Gather the Evidence You Need
If you were harmed in a car accident caused by another party’s negligence, the car accident attorneys of Judd Shaw Injury Law are here to help. Our legal team has the resources and know-how to effectively collect the evidence needed to ensure liability falls on all appropriate parties.
Our law firm takes car accident cases on contingency. This means you do not pay any upfront costs or fees. There is no risk or obligation when you contact us – we only get paid if we win your case.
Car accident evidence can quickly be lost or destroyed, so do not hesitate to contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Schedule a free consultation by calling 1-866-909-6894 or completing the contact form on this page.