Evidence in an Illinois vehicle collision case is a lot like the pieces of a large jigsaw puzzle. Without the pieces, it is impossible for the jury to put the picture together. The more evidence (pieces) the jury has, the more likely they are to award fair compensation.
Of course, no matter how many puzzle pieces the jury has, they are just a jumbled mess until an attorney guides them and shows them how the pieces fit together.
So, most successful negligence cases in Winnebago County have these two basic components. There must be substantial favorable evidence, and victim/plaintiffs must have experienced legal counsel.
Traditional Car Crash Evidence in Illinois
Most of the first negligence cases came along in the 1920s and 1930s, after the Industrial Revolution had fully passed. Then as now, victim/plaintiffs depended on solid evidence to support their claims. Most negligence cases were built on:
- Witness Statements: The police accident report usually contains the names of one or two witnesses. Attorneys can usually convince additional witnesses to come forward. Some may have seen the accident but not gone to the scene. Other people simply do not like talking to police officers, for various reasons.
- Police Accident Report: This document often forms the foundation of a case. But it’s often incomplete or inaccurate. If the victim was killed or too seriously injured to give a statement, the report obviously only contains one side of the story.
- Medical Treatment Records: Attorneys can usually bypass privacy restrictions and obtain these documents in a matter of minutes as opposed to a matter of weeks. If necessary, attorneys can partner with independent doctors who review these records and share their conclusions with the jury.
These sources are highly instructive for the jury, and most jurors expect to see this type of evidence. If it is absent, some jurors may think that the victim/plaintiff has something to hide.
Technology-Based Evidence in Rockford
One traditional evidence weakness is that it may be subject to attack from the insurance company lawyers. That’s normally not the case with properly-authenticated, technology-based evidence. These items include:
- Event Data Recorder: Most passenger vehicles contain EDRs. These gadgets record vehicle speed, steering angle, airbag deployment, and other items critical to understanding an Illinois car crash.
- Surveillance Video: Pictures have been used in court for decades. But today’s security and other cameras usually record high-definition footage that’s much easier for the jury to see.
- Electronic Logging Device: ELDs are often useful in large vehicle collisions. These devices record compliance with Illinois and federal hours of service requirements. ELDs are connected to vehicle ignitions, so they are almost impossible to fake.
Electronic evidence, especially ELDs and EDRs, creates some problems. Most insurance companies destroy totalled vehicles within a few days. If that happens, all the physical evidence these vehicles contain will be gone. So, attorneys usually send spoliation letters to these insurance companies. That way, critical evidence is not “accidentally” lost prior to trial.
Contact Aggressive Attorneys
Evidence helps win car crash cases. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Rockford, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd. After hours visits are available.