In Pennsylvania, people injured in auto accidents have the burden of proving another party is responsible for their harm. In order to do this, injured parties must gather and present sufficient evidence of negligence.
Unfortunately, if claimants are severely hurt, they may be unable to effectively collect evidence in Altoona car accident cases. Our hardworking Altoona car crash attorneys could assist you with gathering and preserving important evidence so you could seek compensation from the party responsible for your harm.
Depending on the type of vehicle accident, the available evidence can vary. Debris, gauge marks, skid marks, and the electronic data recorder inside vehicles that measures braking, acceleration, and deceleration could all be examined.
Sometimes there is any surveillance footage available, either from a dash camera or from a nearby business, that captures the accident. It is important to identify this type of evidence early because film often is replaced or deleted relatively quickly.
It is important to note that evidence collected for a car wreck case in Altoona does not only provide clues as to how the accident occurred and who is at fault. Evidence also helps to establish the financial and personal losses suffered by the claimant. Medical records, testimony from the treating physicians, pay stubs, and other bills could all be gathered to as evidence of a claimant’s damages.
The first step when collecting evidence after a car crash in the area is determining who is in possession of the evidence and then sending a preservation letter to that person so the evidence will not be destroyed. For instance, the vehicles may need to be preserved so they can be inspected by reconstruction experts who will give an opinion as to exactly how the accident occurred.
The same goes for surveillance footage. An Altoona lawyer collecting evidence for an auto collision case may ask nearby businesses if their surveillance cameras may have captured the wreck.
Before any case reaches a trial, there is a process called discovery. During the discovery process, both the defendant and plaintiff will exchange information, records, documents, and any other evidence that may be used in the case. This may include expert reports, surveillance films, medical records, and physical evidence.
Some evidence can be obtained rather quickly, such as police reports. However, sometimes a person may not willingly supply an attorney with relevant evidence, such as cell phone records or surveillance film. In these cases, a lawyer may have to serve a subpoena to obtain that evidence. This process requires that a lawsuit be filed, and requires the attorney to give notice to the opposing party of his or her intent to serve a subpoena, after which the opposing party has a 20-day period in which to file objections to the subpoena.
If you or a loved one were harmed in an auto wreck caused by another person, you require substantial proof of negligence and damages to recover compensation. A dedicated attorney could help gather evidence in Altoona car accident cases and build a strong claim for legal recourse.
However, time is of the essence. Call the office of Marcus & Mack today to schedule your initial consultation for free.
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