Evidence in Car Crash Claims

In a vehicle collision claim, the victim/plaintiff must establish liability by a preponderance of the evidence, a legal term which means “more likely than not.”

Picture two jars full of marbles sitting side by side. Each jar has the same number of marbles. If someone moves one marble from the jar on the left to the jar on the right, the jar on the right has more marbles. That’s a picture of a preponderance of evidence. If the victim/plaintiff has just a little more evidence than the defendant, that’s enough.

However, there is usually a direct relationship between the amount of evidence the victim/plaintiff presents and the amount of damages the jury awards. So, the more evidence a Weatherford personal injury presents, the more compensation the victim usually receives.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Traditional Sources

Over the years, some combination of the victim’s own testimony, the police accident report, and medical bills have obtained millions of dollars of compensation for North Texas accident victims.

When victims take the stand and tell their own stories in their own words, the testimony has an almost mystical effect on the jury. There is often an emotional connection that’s hard to describe.

Victim testimony is sometimes a bad idea or physically impossible. Insurance company attorneys are highly skilled, and cross-examination can be brutal. Furthermore, if the victim was very seriously injured or killed, the victim’s testimony is obviously unavailable.

Many jurors give additional deference to government documents, like police accident reports. Additionally, unlike the victim’s testimony, police accident reports are completely bias free.

However, even the most experienced first responder is not an accident reconstruction professional. So, the report might be inadequate in complex multi-vehicle collisions. Additionally, if the victim did not survive, the narrative contains only one side of the story.

Medical bills are perhaps the most solid form of traditional evidence in a car wreck claim. But these bills sometimes lack information about the victim’s pain and suffering.

Nontraditional Sources

Technology has made it easier for attorneys to find and present new forms of evidence, in order to obtain maximum compensation.

Event Data Recorders are a good example. Much like the black box flight data recorders in commercial airplanes, EDRs measure and store information like:

  • Vehicle speed,

  • Engine RPM,

  • Brake application, and

  • Steering angle.

Texas has very strong vehicle data privacy laws. So, attorneys must generally obtain court orders before they can access, download, and present EDR information.

Evidence is critical in car crash claims. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Weatherford, contact Herreth Law. After-hours visits are available.