If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be entitled to take legal action on their behalf. A wrongful death lawsuit holds the at-fault driver accountable for their actions, even if they are not facing criminal consequences for the fatal accident.
The evidence that is helpful after a fatal car accident will vary depending on the unique factors relevant to your case. However, many wrongful death claims are built on a foundation using some of the following evidence.
Evidence That Is Helpful After a Fatal Car Accident
Collecting evidence in the aftermath of a fatal car accident can be overwhelming. As you are grieving the loss of a loved one, you deserve to be able to focus on what matters most—your family. An attorney from Prince Law Firm has the experience, knowledge, and determination needed to collect and analyze evidence related to your wrongful death claim.
Cell Phone Records
The dangers of driving while not paying attention cannot be understated. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that distracted driving kills nine people every day. Distracted driving can encompass a wide range of dangerous behaviors (including eating, drinking, and grooming), but one of the most dangerous examples is behind-the-wheel cell phone use.
Many drivers operate under the false belief that a quick glance at their phone screen won’t harm anyone. However, when traveling at 55 miles per hour, the time it takes to read or send a text message is often equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field—with your eyes shut.
Cell phone records give attorneys an idea of what an at-fault driver was doing at the time of the accident. These records will not only place the distracted driver at the scene but can also show if they were texting or talking on the phone at the time.
Vehicle Maintenance Records
Motor vehicles require upkeep and regular maintenance. It is the responsibility of every vehicle owner to ensure that their car, truck, SUV, or minivan is roadworthy and in good working order before driving.
Vehicle maintenance records will show whether a vehicle had any documented problems, what actions (if any) were taken to correct the issues and any regular maintenance that may have been performed. If a driver failed to regularly perform maintenance and upkeep on their vehicle, such as replacing worn-out tires or changing the oil, and those inactions ultimately contributed to a fatal accident, the negligent vehicle owner can be held responsible.
Pictures and Videos of the Accident Scene
Some of the physical evidence in a car accident case can disappear rapidly. If possible, documenting this evidence by taking pictures and videos of the accident scene can help preserve this evidence, including weather and driving conditions, debris patterns, skid marks, the position of both vehicles, and property damage.
We know that after surviving a deadly accident in which another vehicle occupant was killed, pulling out your phone to document the scene will likely not be your top priority. The health and safety of everyone involved in the accident is what is most important, so do not forego or delay necessary medical care to capture the accident scene on camera. If necessary, ask a trusted friend or relative to return to where the crash took place as soon as possible to take pictures and videos on your behalf.
Bring these images and videos with you when you meet with an attorney from Prince Law Firm for your free consultation.
The majority of fatal urban car accidents in Illinois take place on Saturday between the hours of 8 and 11:59 p.m., a period of time when many people are heading out for a night of fun. Your chances of being involved in an accident in Marion with no eyewitnesses are low during this period of time.
If a driver, pedestrian, bicyclist, or other individual witnessed the crash, their account of things can be a strong support in your wrongful death claim. Eyewitness statements should be collected as soon as possible after the accident when the incident is still fresh in people’s minds. If you are unable to record people’s statements while still at the scene of the crash, collect their names and contact details so that you and your lawyer can contact them later.
Big auto insurance companies do not boost their profits by paying out personal injury and wrongful death claims to accident victims and their families. Instead, these companies have built their profits on a foundation of denying liability and reducing payouts whenever possible.
Beating the insurance company at its own game often requires the backing of an experienced attorney, as well as evidence provided by experts. Expert testimony that is most helpful in a wrongful death claim typically comes from medical health professionals and accident reconstructionists.
Testimony provided by a physician can help definitively prove that the victim’s death was the result of the accident and not an underlying or pre-existing condition.
Testimony provided by an accident reconstructionist can determine what (and who) caused the accident, including identifying factors such as speeding, running stop signs, and more.
Prince Law Firm Provides Compassionate Legal Representation to Illinois Families
The aftermath of a deadly car accident often creates a period of significant loss for surviving family members. While we know that successfully navigating a wrongful death claim will not close the hole created by your loved one’s death, it will help you address the lingering financial and emotional damages you’ve been dealt.
At Prince Law Firm, we are knowledgeable in all local and state laws that govern wrongful death claims, and we know what evidence is helpful after a fatal car accident. If you’d like to discuss your loved one’s life and your legal options for addressing their death, please contact our Marion office to schedule a completely free consultation.
What Causes Most Traumatic Brain Injuries?