The Role of Evidence in Albuquerque Car Accident Claims
If you are filing a car accident claim against another driver, you must provide substantial evidence to prove your right to compensation. Without sufficient evidence, the insurance company is unlikely to take your claim as seriously as it should. However, much of this evidence can be difficult for car accident victims to gather alone. That’s why you should turn to an experienced car accident attorney for help maximizing the value of your claim.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help with the Collection and Analysis of Evidence in Car Accident Cases
An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you throughout the insurance claims process by:
- Conducting an in-depth investigation to determine the cause of the accident and who is responsible for it
- Reviewing the specific details of the case to provide valuable insight into your injury claim
- Gathering evidence to establish fault
- Handling communication with the insurance adjusters and other parties
- Compiling documentation about your damages to support your claim for maximum compensation
- Seeking a court order to preserve certain evidence, such as cell phone records or event data recorders
- Preparing a settlement demand letter
- Advising you whether accepting a settlement offer or personal injury lawsuit is in your best interests
Parnall Law can assist you with your personal injury claim so you can focus on your recovery.
Types of Evidence in Auto Accident Cases and How They Can Affect Your Case
Now that you know how valuable evidence can be to prove fault and the importance of having an injury attorney on your side, you can start thinking about what evidence might be available to use to support your insurance claim. Your attorney can use the following types of evidence to build a solid case for your car accident injury compensation:
When you are involved in a car crash in New Mexico, you should call the police so that a law enforcement officer from a local police department can come and prepare a crash report. The police report will serve as official documentation of the accident and will contain information such as:
- Information about the other driver, including their name and contact information
- Names and contact information for any witnesses
- The time, date, and location of the accident
- Registration information for each vehicle
- A diagram of the accident
- The responding officer’s initial assessment of who was at fault for the crash
Be sure to request a copy of this report. Your attorney can attempt to correct the official record if it contains any errors.
Damage to the vehicle can indicate which driver instigated the collision. Furthermore, the nature and extent of property damage can be a useful means of linking the accident to the victim’s injuries. The insurance adjuster assigned to your case may take pictures of vehicle damage, but you should, too, for your own records.
Photos and videos of the accident scene are highly valuable, as they might demonstrate what the immediate aftermath of the crash looked like before the vehicles had to be moved and the site cleaned up. Car accident claims are often much more solid when car accident victims have photographs and videos as evidence.
Skid marks left on the road at an accident scene can suggest the vehicle’s direction of travel, as well as the approximate moment the driver stepped on the brake pedal. In some instances, the presence of skid marks can indicate that the driver was going too fast. Their absence may indicate that the driver was too distracted, intoxicated, or fatigued to brake in time.
Tread impressions left on the road can be used to differentiate the vehicles by their tire tread patterns. An analysis of these tread patterns may identify the types of vehicles involved and their direction of travel. Significant irregular wear or damage to tires could additionally suggest maintenance issues that potentially contributed to an accident.
The prevalence of video cameras has increased the likelihood of some form of video evidence being available for a motor vehicle accident. This evidence might come from onboard vehicle dashcams, security cameras from nearby stores, or even a witness who used their phone to film the crash or its aftermath. Video evidence can be highly valuable in a car accident case, as it can provide an objective account of what occurred.
Event Data Recorded Information
Many modern vehicles are equipped with event data recorders (EDRs), akin to an airplane’s “black box.” EDRs capture key data about a vehicle in the moments leading up to and during a crash, including:
- Vehicle speed
- Brake application
- Steering input
- Whether seatbelts were buckled
- Airbag deployment timing
- Vehicle systems status
This information can provide critical insights into contributing factors in an accident. For example, EDR data may show if a driver applied brakes appropriately, was exceeding the speed limit, or had disengaged safety systems.
Car Maintenance Records
Accessing maintenance records for your own or the other driver’s vehicle can help determine whether any mechanical issues contributed to the crash. If a mechanic failed to diagnose or fix a problem they reasonably should have, your attorney could potentially hold them accountable for negligence. If mechanical records show that the other driver failed to properly maintain their vehicle, this could support your claim that they were negligent.
Eyewitness accounts in car accidents can give insurance companies a reliable third-party account of what occurred before, during, and after the collision. Because objective witnesses have no personal stake in the outcome of the case, their statements are often given greater weight than the statements of the drivers involved.
Cell Phone Records
In some instances, a lawyer can access the at-fault driver’s cell phone records to determine whether they were talking on the phone or texting at the time of the accident, which could strengthen your claim the other driver was negligent.
Some victim wonder whether they should seek medical treatment if they only suffered minor injuries. However, not all injuries are immediately apparent. Adrenaline can surge at the time of the accident, potentially masking symptoms. For these reasons, it’s important to seek medical treatment after an auto accident.
Maintaining thorough medical records for accident claims is crucial. Not only do they establish the nature of your injuries, but they also serve as proof of your medical expenses due to the accident. Be sure to keep documents such as:
- Medical bills from ER visits, ambulance rides, doctor’s appointments, surgeries, and medications
- Doctor’s notes
- X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs
- Diagnostic test results
- Physical therapy documentation
- Proof of transportation and accommodation expenses if you have to travel for treatment
The at-fault driver might owe you compensation for the money you couldn’t make because you missed time at work. Recovering compensation for your lost wages may require evidence of just how much you were unable to earn, which can include:
- W-2 forms
- Pay slips
- Notes from your HR department
- Bank statements
Proof of Loss Documents
Insurance companies may require you to submit a proof of loss form to make a claim after an accident. Documentation for proof of losses contains essential information like:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- The vehicles and parties involved
- A statement of your losses, including vehicle damage, medical bills, and lost income
Expert testimony in car accidents can give your claim the added weight of professional opinions about how the accident occurred and why your injuries could only have happened in that type of accident. A seasoned attorney can secure the testimony of medical experts and accident reconstructionists to strengthen your claim.
Contact an Experienced Albuquerque Car Accident Attorney
The experienced Albuquerque car accident attorneys at Parnall Law have handled car accident claims since 1997. Our team can collect all the necessary evidence to substantiate your claim, negotiate with the insurer, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer to learn more about how we can help you.