If you are considering legal action following a vehicle crash, it is important to understand what evidence is needed to prove negligence in a car accident. No two accidents are the same, and the evidence necessary to establish fault can differ dramatically.
This evidence could vary from witness statements to video recordings and even admissions by the other driver. Obtaining this evidence is not always easy, but an attorney can help.
It is important to pursue all available evidence following a car crash. The financial impact of a car accident has the potential to be significant, and failing to demonstrate the other driver was at fault could leave you on the hook for your damages.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that in 2016, car accidents cost about $44 billion in medical expenses and lost work. Building a car accident case starts with a thorough investigation.
Establishing Negligence in a Car Accident Case
Before you can prove negligence in a car accident lawsuit, you must first understand what constitutes negligence in the first place. There are four elements required to prove negligence, and the evidence needed to establish each element can vary. These elements are the duty of care, breach of this duty, causation, and damages.
Duty of Care
The first step in a motor vehicle accident case is to establish a duty of care was owed by the defendant to the plaintiff. While this can be difficult to prove in other types of cases, it is rarely at issue in vehicle accidents. This is because all drivers owe one another a duty to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible way.
Breach of the Duty of Care
Proving that this duty was breached can be much more difficult. In fact, this is often the central issue in vehicle accident litigation. Any careless or reckless act that results in a vehicle crash could be evidence of the breach. Often, this evidence includes proof of a traffic violation or other criminal act.
The third step for a plaintiff in a motor vehicle accident case is to link their injuries to the defendant’s breached duty of care. This step is known as causation. Without causation, the at-fault driver is not responsible for your injuries.
The final requirement for proving negligence involves your damages. You may only recover monetary compensation if you can show that your injuries result in some type of compensable harm. Compensable damages could be your medical bills, time away from work, or mental anguish.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Evidence that Can Prove Negligence
There are many forms of evidence that could be useful for establishing a negligence case. Some examples include:
Following some accidents, the at-fault party will admit responsibility for the crash. This admission could be made directly to the injured motorist or to the responding police officer. The person that overhears this admission could testify to it at trial.
Some of the most powerful pieces of evidence of negligence are videos of the collision. When the jury can see the accident unfold for themselves, it can eliminate some of the uncertainty that surrounds an accident. This video evidence could come from a dashboard camera or a surveillance camera near the scene of the collision.
Often, the most important evidence for establishing damages in a car accident case is the plaintiff’s medical records. These records could not only establish the severity of the injury but also provide the cost of that medical care.
The testimony of a witness—especially one without any connection to either party involved in the crash—can also be powerful at trial. The recollection of an independent third party could carry a lot of weight with a jury.
While not all traffic accidents will result in a ticket or an arrest, some do. In these cases, evidence that the other driver was convicted of a violation at the time of the accident could be used to establish negligence.
Photographic evidence can be useful in many ways. Photos of your injuries could give the jury insight into their severity. Photos of the accident scene could help them understand how the crash happened. Finally, images of the vehicles could establish the nature of the crash.
Discuss Your Negligence Case with an Attorney
Building a strong case for negligence is only one of the ways an injury attorney could help following a motor vehicle accident. The team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers has extensive experience taking on these cases and understands what evidence is needed to prove negligence in a car accident.
To get started with your case, get a free consultation by calling (404) 888-8888 right away.