When a pedestrian, motorcyclist, passenger vehicle driver or occupant of a motor vehicle is killed in an accident, families have lots of questions about a potential wrongful death case. Evidence will be necessary to prove another’s negligence was the cause, so one of the first steps if pursuing a claim or lawsuit is collecting appropriate evidence to establish another’s negligence.
Types of Evidence That May Help Substantiate a Wrongful Death Claim
With traffic accidents, there are certain kinds of proof that can be helpful whether it involved a car, motorcycle or pedestrian. One example is a copy of the police/accident report that is completed after a traffic accident. It may include information that helps to establish fault, such as a citation issued for DUI.
Statements from witnesses/bystanders can also be useful as evidence. When it’s not clear what happened, their testimony may implicate the wrongdoer. Alternately, their statements might corroborate what an injured person claims happened, whether it’s another victim involved in the accident or the deceased who might have survived long enough to tell his or her side.
Photographs are also valuable pieces of wrongful death case evidence in any kind of traffic accident. These can include shots of the entire accident scene and close-ups of damaged vehicles, which may help show how the crash occurred (such as a T-bone accident or a rear-end accident).
Other types of evidence in a wrongful death case will be specific to the type of crash. For example, let’s say a pedestrian was struck and killed in a hit and run. A bystander might be able to provide information regarding the vehicle, such as make and model or even a license plate number.
If it occurred at an intersection that has a red light camera installed, the pictures from the camera might be entered as evidence. Or it could be that the accident happened near a building or parking lot that has security cameras installed. Video footage from the surveillance system could be beneficial as evidence.
Common Causes of Fatal Accidents
Drunk drivers who strike pedestrians or a passenger car are a common source of traffic fatalities. Tragically, many times drunk drivers walk away from the crash with hardly a scratch while innocent lives are lost.
Inclement weather is another common cause of fatal accidents. Visibility can be drastically reduced in snow or rainstorms. Adding to the danger are drivers who fail to slow down and take appropriate precautions when driving in dangerous weather conditions.
Distracted driving is becoming a serious problem on the roads, too. With such a variety of gadgets now available—which allow texting, talking, checking email and surfing the web—more and more drivers are taking their eyes off the road. But these aren’t the only dangerous distractions.
Even more examples of distractions on the road include:
- reaching for something dropped on the floor;
- changing dials on the radio; and
Evidence may demonstrate that another driver was engaged in these, or other, dangerous behaviors at the time of the accident. Citations for DUI, witness testimony of a driver’s reckless driving, and evidence that demonstrates driver distraction such as phone records may all be useful to a case.
Cordisco & Saile LLC Can Help Families File a Wrongful Death Case and Collect Evidence
No matter what the circumstances of a fatal crash, it is important to seek legal counsel for help filing a wrongful death case. Evidence collection may also be made easier with a lawyer at Cordisco & Saile LLC helping. Set up your consultation to discuss a potential or existing wrongful death case.