Evidence | What you Need to Know about Evidence in a Personal Injury Case | Personal Injury Lawyer Ellijay Ga
EVIDENCE – Collecting and analyzing evidence to prepare for a potential trial or insurance claim is one of the most important things you Teague Law Car Wreck Attorney will do. Evidence is a broad term that can include many types of documents, recordings, images, and other data. It is essential that your car accident attorney begin to collect this evidence immediately because some may disappear or be lost forever if not collected quickly. Some of the common types of evidence that we look for are:
POLICE REPORT – The officer who appeared on scene at the car accident should have written a report that will include essential information: The at fault drivers name, address, and insurance information, a list of any potential witnesses, a diagram of the vehicles, the officer’s determination of how the accident occurred, a list of the contributing factors of each driver, and the officer’s determination of which driver was at fault.
911 CALL – The 911 call can be a trove of vital information. Anytime someone calls 911 the call will be recorded from beginning to end. The recording can be a great resource to find errors and discrepancies in the other driver’s story – has the explanation of events given on the 911 call changed over time? The other driver may even admit guilty or be so confused about what happens that it casts doubt on their entire story. Additionally, this same method can strengthen your case if you made an initial 911 call and your story has been consistent. Finally, other bypassers may have witnessed the accident and called 911 to give a statement that may strengthen your case.
VIDEO – While it is very unlikely a video camera captured the entire car accident (unless you have a dash camera – see below) it is still vital we check as quickly as possible. A store or traffic camera near the location of the car accident may have recorded the entire wreck; however, that evidence can disappear in mere hours or days. It is urgent you hire an Attorney quickly to persevere this evidence. Your Car Accident Attorney at Teague Law will send out spoliation letters to preserve any possible evidence from destruction. Additionally, any video you took of the accident scene, the damage to the cars, your injuries, or the behavior of the other driver can be some of the strongest evidence we could hope for – particularly if you have a video of what the other driver is saying immediately after the accident.
PICTURES – Pictures are a great form of evidence that are easy for a jury or judge to connect to and understand. The power of one good photograph can change the outcome of a case. The officer who worked the accident scene may have taken photographs, but we can’t depend on them. Hopefully you read our 9 things to do immediately after getting into a car accident [link] and you took photographs as soon as possible – before the cars were moved or the scene was cleaned up.
TEXT MESSAGES – Keep in mind that any text messages sent by you or to you, regarding your injury, accident, or case – can be obtained by the other driver’s attorney if we proceed to trial – for this reason it is best case practice to never discuss your case or injuries with anyone, particularly by text or messaging app. This same principal applies to the at fault driver, we may discover evidence to strengthen your case in their text messages.
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS – Much like text messages, what you or the at fault driver have posted to any social media platform will be dissected. Do pictures posted prove you were not that severely injured? Or that the at fault driver was? Did the at fault driver post their version of the accident on social media? Is it consistent with their other statements?
WITNESS STATEMENT – We may be able to identify and track down witnesses from the police report or 911 call. Identifying and speaking with witnesses early on can help shape and strengthen your case. Recorded verbal or sworn written statements are typically used to memorialize the witnesses’ statement.
STATEMENT TO INSURANCE – When you call to report the accident to your insurance company, keep in mind they are recording anything you say – and may use it later to try and deny any claim you may have on your own insurance. Additionally, the other driver’s insurance company will attempt to contact you for a statement if you don’t have an attorney – they will ask you for a recorded statement – never give any statement to the insurance company, they will try and get you to say something to harm your case. You should be especially careful if both you and the other driver share the same insurance company.
DASH CAMERA VIDEO – Dash cameras are becoming more commonplace – their use can be a benefit – but they can also be dangerous for your case. The camera will have recorded everything before, during, and after your car wreck. Any bad behavior of your own – using a phone, speeding, following too closely, failure to maintain lane, failure to yield, running a red light, or even discussions about alcohol or drug use could possibly be recorded.
Teague Law proudly fights for the people of North Georgia, including Ellijay, East Ellijay, Gilmer, Fannin, Blue Ridge, McCaysville, Pickens, Jasper, Fairmount, Union, Blairsville, Towns, Hiwassee, Dawson, Dawsonville, Lumpkin, Dahlonega, Murray, Chatsworth, Eton, Dalton, Holly Springs, Cobb, and Kennesaw.