Preserving Evidence to Help Determine Liability
Car accidents can cause significant injuries to victims in Georgia. Often, vehicle accidents are caused by the careless or negligent actions of other parties, and victims may be entitled to compensation. However, evidence is a critical part of determining liability. Preserving evidence in the aftermath of a Georgia car accident is very important. Here, we want to discuss what type of evidence and should be preserved and whether you need an attorney to help with your case.
What evidence should be preserved after a car accident in Georgia?
There are various types of evidence that need to be preserved in the aftermath of a car accident in Georgia. This evidence will be an invaluable resource when working to determine liability. Evidence is important in all types of vehicle collisions, including those involving only passenger vehicles as well as those involving commercial vehicles.
Some of the most common types of evidence that should be preserved after a vehicle accident in Georgia include the following:
- Your vehicle
- The at-fault driver’s vehicle
- Black box data from both vehicles
- Footage from any nearby video cameras
- Video or photographs taken by those on the scene
What is the spoliation of evidence?
Spoliation is not a word the people hear regularly. Spoliation refers to the destruction of evidence, the failure to preserve evidence, or the significant alteration of evidence that is necessary for pending or contemplated litigation.
The spoliation of evidence can occur after litigation involving a car accident begins, as well as before any case has been filed. If it can be presumed that a lawsuit will occur due to the collision, evidence should not be destroyed, altered, or discarded. Stated differently, if the parties could “anticipate litigation” from the collision, evidence should not be destroyed, altered, or discarded.
If evidence is spoliated, it may establish a rebuttal presumption against the person who destroyed, altered, or failed to preserve the evidence. This means that there will be a presumption that the evidence favored the other party in the case. That is why, whether you are the plaintiff (injury victim) or the defendant (the alleged at-fault party) in the case, you must take steps to prevent the spoliation of evidence.
Is an attorney necessary to help with evidence in these cases?
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a vehicle accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Determining liability and securing compensation in these cases often depends on having enough evidence to prove what happened. As we discussed above, securing evidence is important. An attorney is going to have the resources necessary to obtain the evidence, preserve evidence, and prove liability. To secure maximum compensation, you should speak to a skilled Georgia car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
What kind of compensation is available after a Georgia car accident case?
There may be various types of compensation available in the aftermath of a Georgia vehicle accident. This can include the following:
- Full coverage of medical expenses related to the crash
- Lost income if a victim cannot work while they recover
- General household out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence
However, if you are a victim of a car accident in Georgia, the spoliation of evidence could jeopardize your ability to recover this compensation. Whether you have evidence that needs to be preserved or you think that other parties have evidence that is pertinent to the case, work with an attorney to ensure that this evidence is obtained, preserved, and unaltered.