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Updated by Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC on Jul 16, 2018
Headline for What Sort of Evidence is Valuable in a Car Accident Lawsuit?
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What Sort of Evidence is Valuable in a Car Accident Lawsuit?

If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another person or entity, then Pennsylvania law may give you the right to sue and recover damages as compensation for your various losses. Successful car accident claims — same as other injury claims — depend a great deal on the available evidence, however. When moving forward with a lawsuit, you’ll want to gather a range of evidence to strengthen your arguments. Consider the following types of evidence.

1

Complete Medical Documentation

In most car accident lawsuits, a significant chunk of the damages are linked to medical expenses, disability, deterioration in quality of life, and other losses associated with one’s physical and psychological health. The defendant is likely to attack your medical conditions and undermine their severity. As such, it’s important that you gather sufficient documentation to support your various claims.

2

Expert and Eyewitness Testimony

Witness testimony — whether from expert witnesses brought in to discuss the nature of your injuries, or to reconstruct the collision that occurred on a roadway, or from eyewitnesses who saw the accident unfold in real-time — is critical to the success of a car accident lawsuit. Your attorney will work with you to secure the assistance of respected experts. With regard to eyewitnesses, if you have an opportunity to identify them in the wake of an accident, then you’ll want to do so — otherwise, you can obtain their contact information through other means, such as the official police report.

3

Post-Accident Photos

The more evidence, the better — particularly if the evidence is dramatic and serves to highlight the seriousness of the accident. Photos of the scene of the accident, which may include closeups of your injured body (or of the damaged vehicles involved in the accident), not only serve as valuable pieces of evidence in their own right, but also create an emotional effect that may win the sympathy of jurors.

4

Vehicular Evidence

Even if your vehicle has been totaled, it’s important not to sell the vehicle, junk the vehicle, or otherwise allow it to come under the ownership of another person. Your damaged vehicle is valuable evidence with regard to your property loss claim, and further, may be necessary to help support your version of events — the damaged vehicle may provide accident reconstruction experts with the data they need to piece together the puzzle.

5

Work Documentation

If your injuries are severe, then in all likelihood, you’ll have to take time off of work. In fact, there may be many other aspects of your career that are affected — you could, for example, be forced to move to part-time work as a result of your condition. Work records (such as accumulated paystubs, scheduling, performance reviews, etc.) will support the accuracy of your damage calculations.

6

Driving Records of the Defendant

In order to succeed in recovering damages in a car accident lawsuit, you’ll have to show that the defendant acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally. This isn’t always easy, however. In some cases, the facts are a bit murky. By prying into the complete driving history of the defendant, you can expose a poor driving record, which may include impaired driving, a series of prior accidents, and more. Depending on the defendant’s driving record, this will serve to delegitimize the defendant and positions them as irresponsible.

7

Roadway Accident History

In Pennsylvania, you may also sue those who control the roadways, if their negligence somehow contributed to your injuries. For example, if a public roadway was poorly maintained and an uncorrected hazard caused your car to spin out of control and crash, then you might be entitled to sue the public entity responsible for the roadway (perhaps the City or State government) and recover damages for their negligence in failing to maintain the roadway in a reasonably safe condition.

It can be challenging to prove negligence, however, so a dense accident history is particularly useful in this regard. If there have been a number of similar accidents occurring on the same roadway, and the defendant did not correct the hazard, then it is highly likely that they were negligent.