Herreth Law
Serving Weatherford, Fort Worth And Beyond
817-502-2715

Evidence in a Car Crash Claim

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for civil law.jpegTo obtain compensation for their car wreck injuries, victim/plaintiffs must establish negligence, or a lack of ordinary care, by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).

That's the lowest standard of proof in Texas law. However, there's normally a direct relationship between the amount of evidence the victim/plaintiff presents and the amount of compensation a Parker County jury awards. This compensation normally includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

So, a Weatherford personal injury attorney must diligently collect evidence. This process usually breaks down into two distinct areas.

Traditional

Generally, emergency responders collect some evidence at the accident scene. But even experienced first responders are not accident reconstructionists. So, they sometimes overlook critical pieces of physical evidence.

Witness statements are important too. Something almost mystical happens when eyewitnesses take the stand and simply relate what they saw. But emergency responders only interview witnesses who voluntarily come forward at the scene. There may be other witnesses as well.

Electronic

Traditional evidence alone may not be enough, especially if the insurance company has a legal or factual defense. Additionally, Parker County courtrooms are rigged for video presentations. So, jurors expect to see electronic evidence. The Event Data Recorder is a good example of the items and issues involved.

Most passenger vehicles have EDRs. These gadgets resemble the black box flight recorders inside commercial jets. Capacity varies by make and model, but most EDRs track things like:

  • Steering angle,

  • Engine RPM,

  • Brake application, and

  • Vehicle speed.

Any one of these numbers could be significant in a car wreck claim. Electronic evidence in areas like this is often better than eyewitness testimony. A computer is more precise, is never biased, and assuming it was working properly, never wrong.

Texas has very strict EDR privacy laws. So, personal injury attorneys usually need court orders to inspect and download EDR data.

That's assuming this device is available at all. Generally, insurance companies destroy totaled cars within a few days. If that happens, the EDR will be lost. Therefore, attorneys usually send spoliation letters to insurance companies as soon as possible. These letters create a legal duty to preserve all physical evidence in the case, including the EDR.

Solid evidence is a key part of your car wreck claim. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Weatherford, contact Herreth Law. You have a limited amount of time to act. 

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