Surprising Pieces of Evidence in Car Accident Cases
The central focus of car accident cases is fault. The driver who is at fault for a crash must pay compensation to those injured in the wreck.
Unsurprisingly, fault is often in dispute following a crash. In fact, disputes around fault are the primary reason that car accident cases cannot settle. You point the finger at the driver who hit you; the other driver points the finger at you.
At Karnas Law Firm, PLLC, we gather evidence from car accidents to support our client’s case. Some evidence is common: eyewitness testimony and police reports. But over the years, we have found surprising pieces of evidence that are very useful at showing fault. Below, our Tucson car accident lawyer highlights 5 pieces of evidence that might come into play in your case.
Dash Cam Footage
More and more vehicles have dash cams. Drivers mount these relatively inexpensive cameras on the dash, and they continuously record what is happening in front of the vehicle. Some cars have cameras already installed, but most drivers buy and install them, usually for insurance purposes.
At Karnas Law, we are always eager to find out if dash cam footage of a wreck exists. Even if you don’t have a camera, another vehicle on the road might have. For example, the motorist behind you might have dashcam footage of a driver running a red and T-boning you. This is one reason to stop and talk to all witnesses after the crash and get their phone numbers. We can follow up and find out if they have footage
Many businesses in Tucson and Phoenix have closed circuit TV for security purposes. At least one camera is usually pointed at the sidewalk, and it might capture what happens on the street.
If you are involved in a crash near a business, then surveillance video might exist. You should quickly stop into nearby business establishments and ask. They often record over their footage, so you want to ask them to preserve it.
Skid marks on the asphalt or grass help show the actions each vehicle took in the split seconds before a collision. For example, skid marks might show that you tried to swerve out of the way before another driver slammed into you. This evidence helps establish that you were paying attention and taking reasonable steps to protect yourself. It is much harder for the other driver to claim you are partially to blame.
As you take photographs after an accident, remember to get skid marks. These are often helpful.
Cell Phone Records
Distracted driving is a major problem on Arizona highways, and nothing is a bigger distraction than cell phones. Many drivers are either talking on the phone or sending text messages when they should be paying attention to the road.
Few drivers will admit to being on the phone while driving. And the fact that they have it in their hand when they exit the vehicle isn’t really proof that they were using it while the vehicle was in motion. They could have reached for it knowing they were just in a crash.
This is where cell phone records are so powerful. We can request them from the driver’s phone provider. These records should show when the driver was on the phone and can establish he or she was texting and driving at the same time.
Some drivers come right out and admit fault. It’s rare, but it does happen. Intoxicated or high drivers are particularly eager to talk. They might come right out and admit they were at fault. We can helpfully use admissions against the driver if we end up in court. Just knowing the driver admitted is often an incentive to hurry up and settle a case for a fair amount.
Listen carefully to what the driver says when he or she exits the vehicle. Other helpful statements include:
- “I haven’t slept for days!”
- “I wasn’t even looking in your direction!”
- “I should have worn my glasses.”
- “I shouldn’t have driven this fast.”
Each of these statements, and others like them, show a driver did not operate a vehicle carefully.
Sometimes it’s not the words they say but how they say them that matter. If the driver is slurring his words, then there’s a strong chance he is intoxicated.
We Leave No Stone Unturned
Karnas Law Firm is committed to our client’s wellbeing. We negotiate settlements aggressively, and we realize the best cases begin with the strongest evidence. Please call us today to talk about your accident.