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What Evidence is Needed in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

Evidence needed in a car accident lawsuit is crucial for building a strong case and ensuring a fair outcome. The aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve sustained injuries or suffered significant property damage. Pursuing a lawsuit may be the best course of action to recover compensation for your losses.

Working with the skilled auto accident attorneys at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can help you understand the evidence needed in a car accident lawsuit to support your claim.

Types of Evidence Needed in Car Accident Lawsuits

To successfully pursue a car accident lawsuit, various forms of evidence need to be collected and presented. The following are some of the key types of evidence that can make a difference in your case:

Vehicle Damage

One of the most compelling types of evidence in a car accident lawsuit is the damage sustained by the vehicles involved. Photographs and videos of the damage can provide a clear picture of the force and direction of the impact, helping establish fault and the collision’s severity.

A qualified auto body repair expert can analyze the damage and provide an estimate for repair costs, which can be used to determine the financial compensation needed for property damage.

In some cases, the vehicles’ data recorders, or black boxes, can also be used as evidence. These devices record crucial information about the vehicles’ speed, braking, and other driving data just before the collision.

Your attorney can gather this information to paint a clearer picture of the events leading up to the accident and prove negligence by the at-fault driver.

Debris and Environmental Evidence

Debris and environmental evidence can be crucial in a car accident lawsuit. The scene of the accident provides valuable information about the cause and severity of the collision. For example, skid marks on the road can indicate sudden braking or evasive maneuvers, while broken glass and vehicle parts can demonstrate the force of the impact.

If there are any traffic signs or signals at the scene, document them with pictures or video after the collision. They can help establish whether the negligent driver violated traffic laws, causing the accident.

Other environmental factors, such as weather conditions and visibility, can also play a role in car accident cases. If poor weather or limited visibility contributed to the accident, take pictures at the scene to help your attorney determine fault.

For example, they may use a photo of the ice on the road combined with speedometer records to show the other driver was going too fast in inclement weather, causing your injuries.

Skid Marks and Other Roadway Markings

Skid marks and other roadway markings are essential evidence in car accident lawsuits. They reveal crucial information about the actions of the drivers involved in the collision, which can impact your compensation.

Skid marks result from a vehicle’s tires losing traction with the road surface and can indicate abrupt braking, swerving, or sudden acceleration. Measuring the length and analyzing the pattern of skid marks can help determine the speed of the vehicles involved and whether any evasive maneuvers were attempted before the crash.

Other roadway markings, such as gouges or scrapes, can also provide valuable evidence in a car accident lawsuit. These markings show the point of impact, the vehicles’ trajectory, and the collision’s severity.

Document these markings through photographs or video to share with your attorney. They may use this information to have a traffic accident reconstruction expert analyze the data to corroborate your version of events.

Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitness Testimony

Eyewitness testimony can be an invaluable source of evidence in a car accident lawsuit, providing an independent account of the events leading up to the collision. It offers insight into various elements, such as the actions and behavior of the drivers involved, weather and road conditions, and potential traffic violations. They can also help corroborate your version of events, bolstering your claim.

To make the most of eyewitness testimony, collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident as soon as possible. The more time passes, the less reliable witness testimony can become. Your attorney can help you obtain written or recorded statements from these witnesses soon after the incident, which can be used as evidence in your lawsuit.

Medical Records

Your medical records are a crucial component of evidence in a car accident lawsuit. They document the extent of your injuries, treatment, and the accident’s impact on your overall health. These records can include emergency room reports, physician notes, diagnostic test results, and treatment plans. It is essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, even if you do not feel injured at the time, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.

Collecting and organizing your medical records is essential to building a strong case. Work with your attorney to request copies of all relevant records from each healthcare provider you visit and documentation of related expenses, such as prescription medications, medical equipment, or physical therapy.

These records can help establish the severity of your injuries, the need for ongoing treatment, and the financial burden imposed by the accident.
At Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., Eileen Kroll, senior partner attorney, will use her experience in surgical nursing and medical malpractice law to review your medical records. Eileen and her team can use this evidence to estimate the full damages you’re owed, including current medical care, long-term treatments, and the cost of behavioral health interventions resulting from emotional distress.

Expert Medical Testimony

In some cases, expert medical testimony may be needed to support your car accident lawsuit. Medical experts can provide an in-depth analysis of your injuries and their long-term effects, helping to establish the full extent of your damages. This can be particularly important in cases involving complex or severe injuries requiring ongoing care or resulting in permanent disability.

An expert medical witness can review your medical records, examine you personally, and provide an objective opinion on the cause and extent of your injuries and the necessity of certain treatments. Their testimony can refute claims by the defense that your injuries are unrelated to the accident or treatment you receive is excessive or unnecessary.

Police Reports

Police reports are an essential source of evidence in car accident lawsuits, as they provide an official, unbiased account of the incident. When law enforcement officers respond to an accident, they investigate the scene, interview witnesses and collect information about the drivers involved. They then compile this information into a report, which can be used as evidence in your lawsuit.

Here are some of the key details included in a police report:

  • Date, time, and location of the accident
  • Contact information for all parties involved, including drivers, passengers, and witnesses
  • Statements from drivers and witnesses
  • Details about the vehicles involved, such as make, model, and license plate numbers
  • Weather and road conditions at the time of the accident
  • Diagrams or descriptions of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles and any debris
  • Traffic violations or citations issued at the scene
  • The officer’s opinion on the cause of the accident and determination of fault, if applicable

You can work with your attorney to obtain a copy of the police report through the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Reporting System. Review the police report thoroughly to ensure it is accurate and error-free. Your lawyer can use the police report to establish fault and your entitled damages.

How to Collect Evidence for a Car Accident Lawsuit

Collecting evidence for a car accident lawsuit involves taking specific steps immediately after and in the days following the incident. These steps include documenting the accident scene, gathering witnesses statements, seeking medical attention, and consulting with an attorney. By taking these steps, you can ensure that you have the necessary evidence to support your case and increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

Immediately after the Accident

Collecting evidence for a car accident lawsuit starts at the scene of the accident. If you are physically able, take the following steps to preserve crucial evidence:

  • Call the police: Always report the accident to law enforcement and wait for them to arrive. This ensures an official police report is created, which can be vital evidence in your case. It is also required for accidents resulting in injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damage.
  • Take photos and videos: Use your smartphone or camera to capture images of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, debris, skid marks, and any other relevant details. Photograph the surrounding environment, such as road signs, traffic signals, and weather conditions.
  • Collect witness information: Obtain the names, phone numbers, and addresses of any witnesses at the scene. If they agree, record their statement immediately after the incident. Their testimony may be invaluable in supporting your case.
  • Exchange information with other drivers: Collect contact and insurance information from all other drivers involved in the accident.

In the Days Following the Accident

After the initial shock of the accident has subsided, continue to gather evidence in the days that follow:

  • Obtain a copy of the police report: Contact the responding law enforcement agency to request a copy of the official police report.
  • Seek medical attention: Visit a healthcare provider to assess and document any injuries you may have sustained in the accident. Follow their recommended treatment plan and keep records of all appointments, medications, and expenses.
  • Consult with an attorney: Speak with an experienced car accident attorney to help guide you through the legal process and ensure all necessary evidence is collected and preserved.

Let Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. Gather Evidence for Your Case

When gathering the evidence needed in a car accident lawsuit, the experienced attorneys at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can help. Our team understands the importance of collecting and preserving evidence to build a solid case, and we are dedicated to providing the support and guidance you need throughout the process.

If you have been involved in a car accident and need assistance with your case, contact us today for a free consultation. Let us use our expertise to help you obtain the compensation you deserve by collecting and presenting evidence needed in a car accident lawsuit.

Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Murray McPhee is an accomplished legal blogger who is on a mission to help everyday people understand their options when suffering a personal injury.

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