When you're involved in a car accident, there are a lot of forms of evidence to gather. The type of damage inflicted, the way that tires leave streaks on the road, and even the direction of debris on the road can say a lot about what happened. Unfortunately, there are some circumstances--both through pure coincidence and malicious intent--where evidence may be hard to see, intentionally hidden, or so subtle that it doesn't tell the whole story. Here are a few accident scenarios that require a bit more legal insight, along with ways to protect your legal rights:
What Accidents Are Hard To Prove?
Except in criminal investigations, accidents aren't always investigated by police officers. Even if they are, police officers are not necessarily forensic scientists; that's a specific discipline which--while officially related to a criminal investigation--involves intense training and specialization as one of many paths in law enforcement.
Fault in an accident is ultimately up to you and your insurance company, and your insurance company will have a delayed response as you report the incident. This means that you need to know what kinds of evidence to record, and which types of incidents are at the highest risk of being ambiguous.
An ambiguous situation means that the argument could go either way--or in no way at all. If it was a minor fender bender in the middle of nowhere with rain washing away some of the evidence, the other person could easily blame someone else or blame you. If the car in front of you accidentally rolls backwards and crushes your front bumper, it's possible to say that you rear-ended their vehicle.
As soon as possible, take pictures of everything involved in the accident and send the pictures to someone. If you don't have a data plan on your phone, start looking for low-price data plan phone companies, because you'll need a way to quickly email friends and a lawyer before evidence disappears--or before your legal opponent can tamper with things.
Dash Cameras Do Some Of The Work For You
Dash cameras have become a sensation on websites like YouTube, where people can report crimes while providing entertainment. Especially in car insurance scams, dash cameras are vital in stopping other people from twisting the narrative of what happens.
Although dash cameras are far from new, they benefit from the miniaturization, intuitive operating system design (such as Windows and Macintosh), and even internet technology that has made smartphones and tablets so powerful and helpful in the right hands. A dash camera benefits from "high definition" being the new standard, most basic quality type, as it's hard to find a modern dash cam that records less than 720p resolution by default.
There are many features available for dash cams, but you need to nail down the basics first. It needs to cover the full view of the windshield, you need to buy a separate, small battery (called a power bank or dash cam charger) that can last for days, and it should have SD card (secure digital) input to make saving and retrieving recordings easily.
With all of these features, you'll have a camera that can easily record impact conditions, the faces of people who come close to the car, and any attempts at tampering with evidence in view. As you invest in car security, be sure to put a car accident attorney's information in your phone for quick advice and a place to send your evidence.
Contact a law office like Monohan & Blankenship for more information and assistance.