With most car accidents and truck accidents, the issue of who was at fault is clear. Rear-end collisions are usually caused by the driver doing the rear-ending. Someone blew through a red light. A driver lost control of their vehicle because they were intoxicated and driving under the influence. All these situations will not have issues surrounding the notion of fault and who will ultimately be held responsible for the accident. But there are some car and truck accidents when determining fault is harder because the facts are not clear. Sometimes, it is one driver’s word over another driver’s word as to what happened. If this happens to you, the smartest decision you can make is to contact an experienced car accident lawyer to help you sort everything out and fight for your rights.
Your Word Against Theirs
What do you do when you know for a fact that the other driver caused the accident, but they are saying that you were the cause? How do you convince everyone that you were not at fault, but that the other driver should ultimately be held responsible? There are things that a good car accident lawyer can do to make it so that it is not merely your word against another’s word. With every car or truck accident case, there are categories of evidence that can be found and collected to bolster your version of the facts.
Being able to determine who was ultimately at fault goes a long way in securing compensation for your personal injury. Pennsylvania is considered a no-fault state when it comes to the paying of medical bills and wage loss. What this means is that no matter which driver caused the accident, everyone’s own insurance company pays for their insured’s medical bills and wage loss; this assumes you have wage loss coverage on your policy because it is optional. However, to receive pain and suffering compensation for your injuries, and money for the loss of life’s pleasures from being seriously injured in the accident, you would have to establish that the other driver was at fault.
Ideally, there will be evidence to rely on, other than your version of the accident and the other driver’s version of the facts. Your personal injury lawyer should immediately begin to gather and collect all the pertinent evidence available that will prove your version of the case. Here are the various categories of evidence that an experienced car accident lawyer will work on collecting and securing to use later if the case goes to trial:
Witness testimony. The best way to support your version of the facts of an accident is to find other witnesses who will say the same thing as you. Witnesses who were at the scene of the accident should be stopped to get their names and addresses and contact information. In many cases, the lawyers themselves or investigators working for your law firm will contact these witnesses and take a recorded statement of what they saw. It is important to get these recorded statements as soon as possible, since people’s memories fade over time. It is also important to have these statements recorded and transcribed because the witness may not have to testify at trial until a few years later. Often, the witness will use the transcribed statement to refresh their memory because most car accident trials take at least a few years to get in front of a jury, assuming they are not settled beforehand.
Physical evidence. With car and truck accidents, physical evidence usually consists of parts of the vehicles that came off from the collision. For example, pieces of brake lights and fenders or other pieces of the vehicle can demonstrate what parts of each vehicle were struck. Also, where the pieces of the vehicles were located at the scene of the accident, either on the road or in the intersection, can determine where the vehicles were located when the impact occurred.
Pictures of the accident scene. If possible, get clear photos of the crash scene. Make sure to get photographs of every angle of the vehicles involved to show all the damage. But also get photos of the overall scene of the accident. For example, get pictures of the entire intersection if the accident happened at a stop sign or stop light. These pictures should also include detailed photographs of any skid marks caused by braking. This type of evidence can demonstrate how fast someone was traveling, when they started to brake, or even if they were distracted by proving there was no braking at all before the impact. This can be useful later when attempting to recreate the entire car accident sequence.
Video evidence. A perfect way to demonstrate to a jury how a crash occurred is to have a video of the collision. In many cases, video is not available. However, an experienced car accident lawyer will be able to investigate the area to determine if someone filmed the accident incidentally. For example, some stop lights have video recording capability. There could be nearby businesses that have security cameras that might have captured the accident. Recently, with the increased popularity of doorbell security cameras on people’s homes, video from these devices have been instrumental in proving liability in car accident cases. Also, it is becoming increasingly popular to use cameras on dashboards of vehicles. There could be vehicles near the time and place of the accident that took video of the incident.
Police report. Another source of information is the investigative report created by the police officers who arrived at the scene of the accident. This is one of the major reasons to always have a police officer come to the scene. They will talk to witnesses, get everyone’s contact information, possibly even determine fault, and give citations to the at-fault driver. Also, having a police officer testify in front of a jury about what was seen and discovered at the scene goes a long way in credibility, especially if the officer’s version of the facts matches your own.
Accident reconstruction experts. In cases that are difficult to prove who was at fault, or cases that are complicated and have multiple vehicles, lawyers will often hire accident reconstruction experts. An accident reconstruction expert is someone who has an educational background and experience in investigating and reconstructing vehicle accidents. One of these experts can take all the available evidence and put together a summary of the accident, from the beginning to the end, demonstrating how each vehicle got to their final resting point. An accident reconstruction expert can have great influence over the minds of a jury because they have a scientific background and can demonstrate their conclusions using science and math.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, Help Clients Win Their Case
Sometimes, car accidents can be very complicated and there are different versions of the facts of the case. Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer to help you win the compensation for which you are entitled is the smartest decision to make. The experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC, know what needs to be done to prove who was negligent and caused the accident. Call us today at 215-569-4888 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.