If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s obvious you will want to seek compensation for your injuries. As a plaintiff, however, the burden of proof in a car accident case falls directly on you.
That means you must prove every element of negligence beyond a reasonable doubt. That is, you must show that the at-fault party owed you duty at the time of the crash and that their negligence was the cause of your injury, not some underlying condition. Curious to know what type of evidence is necessary to fulfill your burden of proof in a car accident claim? Read on.
1. Photographs and videos
Photographs and videos of the accident scene are perhaps the most important types of evidence for car accident claims. Whether you opt to use photos or videos, this type of evidence will help paint a vivid picture of various aspects of the crash, including:
- How a car accident occurred
- Who was at fault
- The road conditions
- Vehicles involved
- Where vehicles came to rest
Therefore, you need to take as many pictures as possible immediately after the accident. Ideally, the photos and videos you take should capture virtually everything, from vehicle damage and your injuries to road conditions and nearby traffic signs. Coupled with other types of evidence, photographs and videos will play a critical role in helping you prove that the other driver breached his or her duty of care.
2. Medical records and payment statements
Medical records are critical evidence in your car accident claim. Whether you have visible injuries or not, you must obtain medical attention immediately after the accident. Make sure that you record every piece of information relating to your healthcare appointments. These can include information about the doctor/physician you visited, the various types of treatment you received, and the amount of money paid (if any).
Upon completion of treatment, it’s also essential that you get a detailed copy of your medical records. This should include diagnostic images like MRIs or X-rays. Also, gather all medical bills from every healthcare provider and receipts for medicines. Having the right medical records will help justify your settlement request and prove your losses by showing the extent of your injuries and the resulting medical costs.
3. Witness and/or driver statements
Witness statements are among the most reliable types of evidence in a car accident claim. Much like photographs, they help clarify who was actually at fault. That’s why you need to collect the names and contact information of all witnesses if you’re in a position to do so.
Whether they are passengers or other drivers who saw the accident, witnesses can provide valuable details about what transpired before and after, thus shedding some light on how the other driver is to blame. In some cases, your Houston car accident attorney may find expert witnesses to testify as well. These individuals often play an important role in accident reconstruction and proving the legitimacy of your injury claim.
4. Police reports and other documents
After a car accident, one of the first things you need to do is call the police. If they don’t show up, however, Texas law still requires you to report any auto crash, especially if it results in injuries or property damages. Whether you report the matter yourself or the police show up at the accident scene, you must obtain a police report.
While a police report may not be acceptable in court (due to hearsay rules), it can come in handy during settlement negotiations. Besides, it contains vital information regarding witnesses and the officer’s conclusions about traffic violations, drivers’ speed, road conditions, and so on. All these can help you prove fault.
5. Surveillance footage
Nearby office buildings, gas stations, retail stores, and company premises can contain external video recording devices, just like traffic cameras. Knowing exactly where the accident that caused your injuries happened can help you obtain surveillance footage to prove that the other party is actually to blame. Bear in mind that this type of evidence should be obtained legally, and this is best done with the help of a reputable Houston car accident attorney.
These accidents occur when a driver hits a vehicle, a person, another’s personal property, or even an animal and then flees from the accident scene without calling the local authorities. Hit-and-run accidents cause more than just property damage; they constitute a significant portion of driver, cyclist, and pedestrian fatalities.
Your Options After a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run accident, it is advisable to follow the proper procedures by doing the following:
- Safely pulling over as soon as you can.
- Assessing the damage to whatever you hit and your vehicle.
- Calling 911 immediately to send emergency medical responders and police to the scene.
- Taking photos of the damage from the accident.
- Noting all the accident details, such as the license plate number, make, and model of the car that hit you.
- File an incident report with the local authorities and your insurance agent.
Fleeing the scene can have serious legal implications. It is important to remain at the scene until issues are properly resolved to minimize your legal liability.
6. Vehicle debris and wreckage
Examining vehicle wreckage may be an excellent way to establish various facts such as the speed of the oncoming vehicle(s) and the direction from which your car was struck. Other debris like brake lines and shredded tires may help establish whether the manufacturer is to blame. Secure all wreckage and debris and partner with an experienced car accident attorney who will assess the evidence.
Use evidence to your advantage with a Houston car accident lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident, you need to gather and preserve all the evidence available. A reputable Houston car accident attorney can employ their professional legal resources and staff, including reconstruction accident experts or investigators, to help collect all pieces of relevant evidence and increase your chances of getting the maximum compensation that you rightfully deserve. Speak with our attorneys today by calling (832) 219-8053.