Building A Successful Port St. Lucie Car Crash Case
First responders nearly always arrive promptly after a serious injury Treasure Coast car crash, but their mission is to secure the scene and attend to injured victims, not to collect evidence of negligence for a future court case.
Evidence collection is particularly important in these early stages, because just like most homicides are solved within the first forty-eight hours, the actions which take place over the first couple of days considerably influence the outcome of the case.
What Should I Do After a Port St. Lucie Car Wreck?
In the immediate wake of a car accident, there is so much to do that it can seem overwhelming. The fact that so many people are seriously injured complicates matters even further. Fortunately, a call to an experienced personal injury attorney takes care of many items on the to-do list.
If at all possible, it’s best to see an injury specialist within the first few hours. Otherwise, the victim’s injuries may get worse and the insurance company will later claim that the victim’s injuries must not have been very serious. Unfortunately, many people either have no money to see a doctor, and even if they have health insurance, they must generally pay accident-related expenses out of pocket. Even if they have the financial means, they often do not know where to find a good injury specialist.
Attorneys can provide referrals to doctors who can identify and treat injury-related conditions, such as whiplash, that other doctors often overlook or do not take seriously. Furthermore, in most cases, this treatment costs nothing upfront, because an attorney will write a letter of protection to the provider which guarantees payment at a later date.
It’s also important to collect as much physical evidence as possible. Take pictures of damage, get the names and contact information of witnesses, make a note of any surveillance cameras in the area, and document other physical evidence, like skidmarks.
Electronic Evidence in Florida Car Crash Cases
Such physical evidence is critical, since Florida plaintiffs have the burden of proof to establish negligence in court. Furthermore, an attorney must also secure electronic evidence in the case, most notably the Event Data Recorder. These “black boxes” have been around since the 1990s, but the first models only appeared in a few Florida vehicles and had limited applicability in court. Now, almost all new vehicles have such a device, which captures and records a considerable amount of data, including:
- Engine RPM,
- Steering angle,
- Vehicle speed, and
- Brake application.
Assuming the device is in good working order, it is almost impossible for Florida insurance company attorneys to challenge the data’s validity in court.
However, Florida has a very strict EDR privacy law, and in most cases, an attorney must get a court order to inspect this device. Moreover, if the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) vehicle is totaled, most insurance companies dispose of it within a few days. So, an attorney must send a spoliation letter to the vehicle’s custodian to preserve the EDR and any other evidence in the vehicle.
Rely on Experienced Lawyers
Fast action in a car crash has a direct effect on the final result. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, P.A. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these cases.