Electronic Evidence in Car Crash Cases

David Monteleone
Illinois Accident and Wrongful Death Lawyer

  Posted  |  Category : Auto Accident Attorney

Auto Accident AttorneyWitness statements, accident reports, medical records, and the victim/plaintiff’s testimony are all highly effective in Winnebago County vehicle collision claims. This evidence is readily available and easy to use. Moreover, since the burden of proof is low in civil court, a little evidence goes a long way.

But there is normally a direct relationship between the strength of the evidence and the amount of damages. The jury must clearly see how bad the wreck was. Additionally, the jury must understand the full extent of the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) culpability.

Electronic evidence often gives a claim that added dimension. Some of the more frequently-sued kinds of electronic evidence are outlined below.

How Surveillance Video Enhances the Value of a Rockford Claim

The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is normally true. Many people are visual learners as opposed to auditory learners. They respond much more quickly to a picture of a crash than voluminous repair bills which detail the crash.

Today’s cameras usually record high-definition video. Jurors expect to see this kind of video, because it is so life-like. Moreover, most Winnebago County courtrooms have large video screens and other advanced audio-visual equipment. It’s important to use all the tools you have in car crash cases.

Surveillance video is especially important in hit-and-run cases. Sometimes, a camera several blocks away from the crash scene captures good quality video footage of the tortfeasor’s vehicle. Placing that vehicle near the scene at the time of the crash may be sufficient to establish liability.

How ELDs Help Rockford Lawyers Obtain Damages

Fatigued driving is an issue in many large vehicle crash cases. Many tour bus drivers are on the road for long hours at a time. The same thing is true of many long-haul truck drivers. Most transportation companies pay drivers by the load and not by the mile. That system encourages drivers to take shortcuts.

Electronic Logging Devices are connected to the vehicle’s powertrain. So, ELDs provide irrefutable evidence with regard to HOS (hours of service) compliance. Because of this, personal injury attorneys can find out exactly how long the driver had been on the road, and how long the driver had been resting, in the hours and days prior to the crash.

The EDR’s Role in Car Crash Cases

All new vehicles have Event Data Recorders. That includes both commercial trucks and passenger vehicles. These gadgets are much like the black boxes in commercial jets. This technology has been around since the 1960s. Early-generation EDRs only had minimal capabilities. But today’s EDRs capture and record operational information like:

  • Vehicle speed,
  • Steering angle,
  • Engine RPM, and
  • Brake application.

Illinois has very strict EDR privacy laws. So, non-owners generally need court orders to access these devices. Additionally, these gadgets are extremely sophisticated, especially in larger vehicles. An attorney needs special tools and resources to download the data thereon.

EDRs and ELDs are both in the insurance company’s possession. So, it’s important for attorneys to send spoliation letters as soon as possible after the wreck. These letters create a legal duty to preserve all physical evidence in the case. Otherwise, the insurance company might “accidentally” dispose of valuable electronic evidence.

Count on Experienced Attorneys

Electronic evidence helps attorneys obtain maximum compensation for victims. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.