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Evidence in a Car Crash Case


Proof is the cornerstone of a car crash or other negligence case. The victim/plaintiff must establish liability (legal responsibility for damages) by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).

That’s one of the lowest standards of proof in Washington law. But building a basic case isn’t enough. To obtain maximum compensation, the evidence must be strong enough to withstand comparative fault and other common insurance company defenses. These doctrines could reduce or eliminate the victim’s compensation.

High school students who do their homework usually do well on their tests. Likewise, if a Seattle car accident lawyer diligently collects evidence and puts the evidence together correctly, the claim often settles out of court, and on victim-friendly terms. A favorable settlement is usually preferable to a trial, even if the odds of success are high. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

The “Big Three”

In World War II, Winston Churchill (Great Britain), Josef Stalin (Soviet Union), and Franklin Roosevelt (United States) led the three largest Allied nations against Germany. They became known as the Big Three. In a car crash claim, the big three aren’t people. Instead, the big three are medical bills, the police accident report, and the victim’s own testimony.

Supplementing the “Big Three”

If the proof falls short, electronic evidence, such as a vehicle’s Event Data Recorder, often effectively fills in the gap. An EDR, which resembles a commercial jet’s black box flight data recorder, measures and stores operational data like:

  • Vehicle speed,
  • Steering angle.
  • Engine RPM, and
  • Brake application.

An attorney , often in partnership with an accident reconstruction professional, puts these random pieces of proof together like notes in a song. So, the jury sees a compelling final product.

Attorneys must have the right professional and technical skill sets to utilize EDR information. Because Washington has such strong vehicle information privacy laws, judges must usually issue court orders before a lawyer can touch an EDR. Furthermore, these devices are very sophisticated. A laptop and a screwdriver isn’t enough.

Rely On a Diligent King County Lawyer

For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Seattle, contact the Emerald Law Group. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.


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