A deadly crash happened on Interstate 71 South near the North Broadway exit. One person died in the crash.
The Big Three of Car Crash Evidence
A Columbus car accident attorney must prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not, to obtain compensation for car crash injuries. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills and lost wages, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and an inability to participate in usual life activities, including hobbies.
The police report or accident report, medical bills, and witness statements are needed to get started with evidence in a car crash claim. If one area is weak, an attorney must maximize other types of evidence. Lawyers also often use electronic evidence to fill in the gaps.
The official nature of a police report makes it very compelling evidence in court but those reports are not entirely admissible because they contain hearsay evidence when a police officer did not actually see what happened. While most jurors trust police officers more than they trust other eyewitnesses, a good trial lawyer should call the officer to testify about facts in his report and at the same time be prepared to call the witnesses themselves.
Sometimes, multiple agencies contribute to comprehensive police reports. Other times, a single officer writes a brief report largely from memory and the report might contain only the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) side of the story.
A good lawyer will also use direct witness testimony, camera footage, medical records, medical bills, and other evidence, including recreations and reenactments.
A traffic, security, or other surveillance camera covers practically every intersection in Columbus. Frequently, multiple cameras cover the same area.
Legally, these cameras are like eyewitnesses who are never biased or incorrect. Even if the camera only recorded part of the wreck from an unfavorable angle, that footage could provide the vital missing piece of the puzzle.
A vehicle’s Event Data Recorder (EDR), often called a “black box,” also provides critical missing information about how a crash occurred. These onboard computers typically measure and record information such as:
Much like a camera lens, an onboard computer always provides 100 percent accurate data, assuming the device was working correctly. Additionally, high-tech evidence resonates very well with tech-savvy Franklin County jurors.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that, unless a trial lawyer acts quickly, this evidence is often unavailable or disappears. Sometimes, even the best efforts result in missing camera footage.
Most insurance companies destroy totaled vehicles within about 72 hours. So, unless a Columbus personal injury attorney quickly sends a spoliation letter to the insurance company, EDR evidence is usually lost. Spoliation letters create a legal duty to preserve all potential physical evidence for future inspection.
While availability is one issue, there is still an issue of access to the evidence. Ohio has extremely strict vehicle information privacy laws. This data is usually off limits to non-owners, unless a judge signs a court order granting access. It is important to discuss these issues with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a crash.
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