Evidence is the lifeblood of an insurance claim or lawsuit after a car accident. Gathering it can be tricky and often depends on unique factors surrounding the accident.
Evidence is tricky because it can be almost anything and come from anywhere as long as it is relevant to your case and tend to prove your claims. Broad categories of evidence include physical, documentary, demonstrative, and testimonial evidence. Much evidence might be found at the accident scene, while additional evidence might come from the hospital where you were treated and police reports. It is important to collect evidence quickly, as much of it could disappear or be lost. Once we have evidence, we need to use it effectively to prove your damages and that the defendant was negligent.
Car accidents are somewhat common, and our Atlanta car accident lawyers have experience finding evidence. Call our team for a free case review to get your case started. Call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
Evidence You Might Need for a Car Accident Claim in Atlanta
Finding the right evidence requires knowing what kind of evidence might be out there. Since evidence could be almost anything, there is no telling where you might find it. Understanding the broader categories of evidence can help you narrow down where to look.
Physical evidence, sometimes called real evidence, is generally evidence you can physically hold up in front of a jury. Much physical evidence consists of objects and items related to the car accident. For example, if we believe the accident occurred because the defendant’s tires were nearly bald, we can use the tires themselves as physical evidence.
A very important piece of physical evidence is your damaged vehicle. Since your vehicle is too large to transport to a courtroom, our Atlanta personal injury lawyers can use photos instead. The same goes for other physical evidence that cannot be moved. Tire marks, street signs, and traffic signals can be photographed or recorded on video and presented as evidence.
Recorded information and other documentary evidence may establish all kinds of important details about your car accident. For example, medical records can be used as evidence of your injuries and treatment costs. Records from a mechanic can be used to establish how much it costs to repair your vehicle.
Documentary evidence and records sometimes play a role in your case in an unexpected way. For example, suppose a taxi driver or delivery driver hit you. People who drive for a living often keep logs of driving times, and their employer might have business records pertaining to the defendant’s employment and how often they work. These records might come in handy as evidence, depending on the needs of your case.
Police reports are another important source of documentary evidence, but these records are not always admissible. Generally, police reports are inadmissible hearsay because they are usually written by officers who did not witness the accident. Instead, reports are based on second-hand knowledge gathered from witnesses and an investigation. Our Georgia car accident lawyers can try to get the report admitted under an exception to the rule against hearsay. If not, we can still use the report to locate other evidence.
Visuals and Demonstrative Evidence
Some evidence is designed to make understanding the details of the case easier through visual aids. In many cases, demonstrative evidence is used to help jurors understand exactly how the accident occurred and why the defendant should be held liable for their negligence.
One common form of demonstrative evidence in car accident cases is the diagram. Diagrams of the accident scene are often employed to give jurors a top-down view of the crash so they can more easily see many details of the crash at once. When demonstrative evidence is backed up by things like photos from the crash or expert witness testimony, it can be very persuasive.
Testimonial evidence is like verbal evidence. Witnesses provide testimony in which they explain their first-hand knowledge regarding the car accident. Eyewitnesses are people who saw the accident happen in front of them. Other witnesses might not have been at the scene of the crash, but they might have other first-hand knowledge about the case.
Your own testimony may also be important evidence. Often, plaintiffs take the witness stand and testify about their experiences. Jurors are often very moved by the plaintiff’s words, especially if their damages for pain and suffering are quite significant. Taking the witness stand is often intimidating, and our Georiga personal injury lawyers can help you prepare.
Some witnesses use scientific or specialized knowledge to illuminate complex issues. For example, an accident reconstruction expert might review information about the accident and provide an expert opinion about how it happened and who is to blame.
Finding Evidence to Support an Atlanta Car Accident Claim
Finding evidence is sometimes easy and sometimes very difficult. Evidence is notoriously finicky, and plaintiffs might be blessed with ample evidence or burdened with scarcity. Even if evidence is hard to come by, our Alpharetta car accident lawyers can help you find what you need to prove your claims.
Evidence collection often begins early, and a good place to begin is right at the scene of the accident. Taking photos and videos of the accident immediately after it happened might help us preserve details that might be lost when law enforcement cleans up the scene. The more photos and videos you record, the better.
The police report, as mentioned earlier, is often inadmissible under the rule against hearsay evidence. However, the police report is often full of valuable information that can be used to locate admissible evidence. For example, the police might have included information about witnesses they spoke to in the report. We can use the report to find those witnesses so they can testify in the case.
Call Our Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys for Help Today
How and where you find evidence for your car accident case is unpredictable, and you might not know where to start. Our Macon car accident attorneys can assist you with the evidence collection process and prepare your claims. For a free case review, call Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.