Types of Evidence in a Pedestrian Accident
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Tad Thomas with Thomas Law Offices.
Pedestrian accidents are particularly damaging due to the size and speed discrepancy between the average motor vehicle and unprotected pedestrians. Pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers alike are expected to abide by the same rules of the road to ensure a safe travel experience for everyone; when a driver or pedestrian commits a traffic violation resulting in or contributing to a serious accident, the negligent party may be liable for resulting damages. However, to prove how the accident happened and what damages occurred, certain types of evidence will need to be collected and analyzed by accident reconstruction experts.
Types of evidence that may be available following a pedestrian accident include:
- Medical records: It’s important to seek medical care following any kind of accident, especially pedestrian accidents. In many cases, the injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident are so severe that the injured party may be taken to the hospital for emergency medical care. However, when this is not the case, it’s still important to seek medical care as soon as possible. Not only can waiting to seek care result in the other party arguing against the legitimacy of your injury, but seeking care also ensures that an official record exists documenting when and how the injuries occurred. Attending any recommended follow-up care serves the same purpose, in addition to prioritizing the injured party’s health and recovery first and foremost, which should always be the goal in a personal injury case.
- Photos and videos: Pictures and videos taken at the scene of the accident can play a big part in reconstructing how a pedestrian accident occurred. Pictures and/or videos should include any vehicles involved in the accident, property damaged by the accident, and even pictures of the injury at the scene and following treatment. It may also be a good idea to take pictures/videos of the weather conditions and any street lights, stop signs, or crosswalks where traffic violations may have occurred. It’s always better to have more evidence than less, so if you’re not sure whether or not to take a picture, it’s better to err on the safe side and take the picture anyway.
- Witness information/testimonies: Collecting the contact information of any witnesses to the accident is extremely important, as it can be difficult to track down witnesses after the fact. Additionally, if the witnesses agree, you may also record their testimony shortly after the accident, while their memory is still fresh. It is common for memories to fade or become distorted with time, so the sooner witnesses are contacted after an accident, the more accurate their recollections are likely to be.
- Surveillance footage: If there were any surveillance cameras in the vicinity of the accident, it may be possible to collect the footage from the establishment that owns the camera. It is not uncommon for surveillance cameras to unintentionally catch all or part of a serious wreck on camera, shedding further light on when, where, and how the accident occurred. Of course, it may be difficult to locate surveillance footage and/or convince the establishment to release the footage to you, but this is an area that an experienced pedestrian accident attorney should know how to navigate.
A friend, loved one, or pedestrian accident attorney can collect evidence on the victim’s behalf.
It’s important to note that because pedestrians often suffer severe injuries in these types of accidents, it may not be possible for them to collect this evidence on their own. Time is of the essence after an injury case like this, as evidence can quickly disperse with time, making it difficult to accurately reconstruct and prove how the accident occurred. If the accident victim is too injured to collect the above evidence on their own, a friend, loved one, or even an attorney can do so on their behalf.
In fact, requesting a pedestrian accident attorney’s help as soon as possible can ensure the injured party benefits from professional evidence collection, including the types of evidence mentioned above and more; these attorneys typically offer free consultations and even work on a contingency fee basis, which means clients don’t pay for their services unless and until they win their case. This allows pedestrian accident victims to benefit from an experienced attorney’s industry knowledge and expertise right away, rather than hesitating due to financial concerns while valuable evidence falls by the wayside.
To learn more about types of evidence that may be available following a pedestrian accident or to discuss your options for recovery, reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney in your area.