When you get injured in a car accident in South Carolina that is someone else’s fault, you are entitled to just compensation for all of your accident-related losses. However, in order to recover this compensation, you need to be able to prove who was to blame.
Proving fault after a car accident can be complicated. Even in cases where what happened seems fairly obvious (for example, if you were hit head-on while sitting at a red light), the insurance companies still will not pay unless there is clear evidence of liability. Did the other driver fail to apply the brakes? Or, did his or her brakes fail (in which case the vehicle manufacturer may be liable)? As a car accident victim, it is up to you to prove who is to blame for your injuries. If you cannot prove fault, then the insurance companies may be well within their rights to deny payment of just compensation.
PROVING YOUR RIGHT TO COMPENSATION AFTER A VEHICLE COLLISION
In order to prove fault, you need evidence. Depending on what happened, this could include evidence from the scene of the accident and from a variety of other sources. Potential types of evidence that can be used to prove liability for car accidents include:
PHOTOS AND VIDEO FROM YOUR PHONE
Hopefully, you took plenty of photos with your phone at the scene of the accident. Any photos (or video) you took could be critical evidence in your case. Photos and video showing where the accident occurred, the location and extent of the damage to each vehicle, skid marks, traffic signs and signals, road and weather conditions, and other relevant information could all potentially be used to help prove that you are entitled to a financial recovery.
FORENSIC EVIDENCE FROM THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT
While there are a number of reasons to contact an attorney after a car accident, one of the most important reasons is so that your auto accident attorney can send an investigator to the scene of the accident as soon as possible. An experienced investigator will be able to assess the scene of the collision, take more photos and video, and gather any additional evidence that is available to help prove your claim.
EXPERT VEHICLE INSPECTIONS
Before your vehicle and the other driver’s vehicle get repaired, hiring an expert to inspect each vehicle can help establish liability for the accident as well. There may be damage that your photos do not show, and the location and extent of this damage may help to further explain what happened in the accident. If a vehicle defect (such as faulty brakes or an exploding airbag) caused the accident or contributed to your injuries, this inspection could be crucial to establishing your claim for financial compensation.
DRIVER AND WITNESS STATEMENTS
If you (or anyone else) called 911 and the police responded to the scene of the accident, it is possible that the police report contains a record of statements made by the other driver. If other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians witnessed the accident, they may be able to provide statements in support of your claim as well. However, if you collected contact information from witnesses at the scene of the accident, you should not reach out to them directly. This is another task that your attorney should handle in order to ensure that the witnesses’ testimony will be admissible in court.
TRAFFIC, DASH CAM, OR SECURITY CAMERA FOOTAGE
In today’s world, many car accidents are caught on camera. If your accident occurred within the view of a traffic camera or a private business’s security camera of the accident was captured on a dashcam or someone else’s phone, it may be possible to obtain a copy of the footage to help prove your claim for financial compensation. While some individuals and businesses may be willing to provide a copy of any accident footage voluntarily, it may also be necessary to issue a subpoena and obtain the footage through formal legal means.
As with many other forms of evidence, when seeking to obtain video footage, it is important to try to collect the footage promptly. Many traffic and security camera systems are designed to automatically overwrite data after a fairly short period of time.
TELEMATICS (“BLACK BOX”) DATA
Today, many vehicles are equipped with telematics devices that track everything from how fast people drive to how harshly they apply the brakes in the event of an emergency. This “black box” information can be invaluable when seeking financial compensation after a crash, and it will usually be important to try to obtain it if it is available.
CELL PHONE RECORDS
Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents, and the most common forms of distracted driving are texting and talking on the phone behind the wheel. If you were hit by a distracted driver in South Carolina, your attorney may be able to subpoena the other driver’s cell phone records in order to prove that he or she was texting or on a call at the time of the crash.
Accident reconstruction is a field of science in which experts use information collected from various sources to piece together (or “reconstruct”) exactly what happened in the moments leading up to a crash. Accident reconstruction methods have become extremely sophisticated in recent years, and reconstructionists are often able to use accident data to develop complete computer-generated imagery (CGI) recreations of vehicle collisions.
YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS
In addition to proving the extent and long-term effects of your injuries, your medical records may serve to help prove fault in the accident as well. Along with other evidence, medical records confirming the cause and extent of your injuries could potentially help prove the location and force of impact involved in the collision.
SPEAK WITH A CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER IN ROCK HILL, SC
If you have been injured in a car accident in South Carolina, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. To speak with an auto accident attorney at Lewis Law Firm LLC for free, call (803) 327-1103 or contact us online now.