Important Evidence Essential for Car Accident Lawsuits
Being found at fault for a car accident can have a devastating effect on the amount of damages that you can recover. In the event that you have suffered severe losses, being found at fault can be even more disappointing. The worst, though, is when you are found to be at fault even when you are sure that you did not act with negligence, and did not cause the car accident.
All too often, those who do not cause accidents are found to be the responsible party due to a lack of evidence. If you are being blamed for an accident, it is essential to know how to place fault where it truly belongs. In addition to hiring an experienced Maryland car accident lawyer, it is important to gather the right evidence and know how to present it. Here is a look at the types of evidence in a car accident lawsuit that can work to your advantage.
If you have been in a car accident, you should take as many pictures as possible as soon as possible after your accident. This includes taking pictures of:
- Both vehicles’ external damage.
- Internal damage to your vehicle.
- Position of the vehicles immediately following the crash.
- Weather and lighting conditions.
- Your injuries.
- Road conditions.
- After-accident damage, such as skid marks on the road, debris, etc.
- Traffic lights or signs in the area.
These and similar types of evidence can all be critical in showing how a car accident occurred, and who was at fault. Do not forget to capture things like road signs. A yield sign, for example, can demonstrate the obligation that the other driver had to yield. When combined with photo evidence of damage and vehicles’ positions, this can prove that the other driver breached his or her duty.
While your injuries may prevent you from immediately speaking to witnesses after a car accident, if you know of anyone who witnessed the crash, getting their contact information as soon as possible is in your best interest. Witness testimony can be fantastic auto accident evidence, especially in the event that the witness is not someone you know. Witnesses can provide unbiased accounts of exactly what they saw, which can help to prove your lack of fault to an insurance company or a court in a lawsuit. A car accident attorney can help you track down witnesses and recover their testimonies.
In the event that you had a passenger in the car who can testify as to what happened, this too can be very valuable.
Black Box Data
According to an article published by USA Today, 96 percent of all new cars sold in 2013 came with a “black box.” And, all commercial vehicles — like large trucks — are typically outfitted with black boxes, too. A black box is a valuable piece of evidence in a car accident claim, as black boxes record essential information.
Information that a black box can record includes:
- Vehicle speed.
- Throttle position.
- Airbag deployment.
- Brake application.
- Use of seatbelts.
- Steering angles.
- Engine speed.
If you have been in a wreck, obtaining the data from both your vehicle’s black box and the other driver’s vehicle’s black box can provide very telling information about who was doing what. For example, black box data could show that the other driver was in fact speeding at the time that your accident occurred.
Perhaps the most valuable type of auto accident evidence is video footage. Video footage provides an accurate representation of exactly what happened at the time of your crash, who did what, and what the immediate results were.
But obtaining video footage is not always easy. First of all, you must identify whether any video footage exists, and if so, to whom it belongs. Then, you must make sure that the party who has ownership over the footage does not destroy it. Furthermore, you must then gain access to the footage in order to present it as evidence in your car accident lawsuit.
Many businesses have cameras on their properties that are used to record robberies and accidents. If your car accident happened near businesses, you should check with the businesses to see if they have any footage of the wreck. If your car accident occurred in an intersection, traffic control cameras may have caught it on tape. In some cases, an individual may have caught the accident on a smartphone or personal recording device. An attorney can help you track down potential sources of video of your accident to present as evidence in a car accident lawsuit.
Collect and Store Your Evidence Before it Diminishes
If you are found to be at fault for a car accident in Maryland, then you may not be able to recover the damages that you are entitled to based on Maryland’s fault-based insurance system. For this reason, it is essential that you prove the fault of the other party, and file a lawsuit to recover your full compensation amount if necessary. To do so, you will need to gather the right evidence, and present it in the right manner.
Under Maryland code section 5-101, a civil action must be filed within three years’ time from the date of the injury, so you need to act quickly. If you do not file your lawsuit within this time frame, then you may be permanently barred from recovering any of the damages you are owed.
A Maryland Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
To aid you through the process of recovering evidence and presenting it to the appropriate parties, contact the experienced Maryland car accident injury attorneys at Jimeno & Gray, P.A. Our attorneys have the experience and resources that your car accident lawsuit deserves. To begin the process of collecting evidence to prove that you were not the party at fault for your car accident, call us now or contact us online today.