How to Prove Negligence After a Car Accident
Whenever you get behind the wheel, you assume a duty of care to those on the road around you. This legal obligation encompasses everything from traveling at a safe speed to remaining awake, alert, and sober until you reach your destination.
Breaching the duty of care constitutes negligence, which is the foundation of most successful car accident claims. That means if you were seriously hurt in a wreck through no fault of your own, you’ll likely have to prove how the other party was negligent before you can recover compensation for the associated damages in a third-party liability claim.
Since every collision is unique, so is every corresponding claim. There are some kinds of evidence, however, that virtually all injured parties will need to gather when building their case.
Read on to learn about the different types of proof that may help you prove negligence when putting together your claim:
- Photographs of the Wreckage
By evaluating images of the scene, accident reconstruction experts are often able to determine what happened in the seconds leading up to the crash. As such, you’ll want to give any photos that you took in the aftermath to your legal team for review.
- Video Footage
Nowadays, a lot of motorists have cameras mounted on their dashboards. That means there’s a good chance the accident was captured on film.
If it occurred in a relatively developed area, it may have also been recorded by one or more surveillance cameras belonging to businesses in the vicinity. Since any such footage won’t be available indefinitely, though, you’ll want to reach out to the owners as soon as possible to request copies.
- Eyewitness Deposition
Those who were in the area at the time may have noticed the at-fault motorist texting, speeding, or exhibiting signs of impairment just before the accident occurred. Should this be the case, their statements could provide a starting point for your own investigation.
- The Official Police Report
The report that responding officers drafted after clearing the scene may contain critical details that help your legal team prove negligence when the time comes. Therefore, you should bring a copy of this document to your first meeting with a car accident lawyer.
- Black Box Data
Event data recorders, or “black boxes,” now come standard in virtually all the vehicles that are produced today. These devices track all kinds of operational variables, including engine RPM, safety belt engagement, airbag deployment, brake application, and vehicle roll angle.
As such, their data could prove invaluable when investigating the cause of a wreck. Since the liable party is unlikely to release this information without legal pressure, though, your personal injury lawyer will probably have to file a subpoena to obtain it.
Speak with a California Car Accident Attorney
At Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand that life can be turned upside down by the negligence of others. If you were hurt in a collision with a drunk, distracted, or otherwise reckless motorist, we’ll help you pursue the funds needed to pick up the pieces. Call 1-800-GO-HARRIS or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in California.