How do I prove that the emergency vehicle driver was at fault for the collision that left me injured?
To prove liability in a car accident case, you must be able to prove negligence on behalf of the other driver. Unfortunately, when the other driver is an emergency responder, this can be very tricky. You’ll need to successfully convince the insurance company, judge, and jury that, despite the fact that emergency vehicles are subject to more lenient laws than other drivers, the defendant was disobeying emergency vehicle safety protocols when he caused your accident.
How do you go about this? By gathering the right evidence.
Evidence Needed to Prove Fault
Although it is possible to gather some accident reports on your own, securing the help of someone who has the resources and clout to demand relevant evidence can be a real time saver. Therefore, the first step you need to take when pursuing an emergency vehicle collision claim is to hire an experienced attorney. A good car accident lawyer will not only validate your claim, but he can also help you identify and obtain the following pieces of evidence essential to proving liability:
Traffic camera video. Video footage from nearby traffic cameras may be able to show what precisely happened before, during, and after the collision. If this footage shows the emergency driver failing to slow down at an intersection, disregarding traffic signs, or otherwise driving recklessly, it will be difficult for him to defend his actions.
Police reports. The report filed by a responding officer can be helpful in determining the position of the cars after the incident, which can then be used to determine the trajectory of each vehicle. It is also helpful to have another emergency vehicle driver’s account of the aftermath rather than just the defendant’s statement—especially if the defendant is a police officer.
Damage photos. Photos of the incident’s aftermath can corroborate the authenticity of the police report as well as illustrate the severity of damage that was caused. In addition to photographs of the accident, you should also have photos of your injuries. Car accident claims can take weeks or even months to resolve, and if it goes to litigation, your external injuries may have healed. Therefore, pictures of the injuries when they were fresh can help convince the judge and jury that you deserve compensation.
911 call reports. Emergency vehicles are only allowed traffic law leniency when they’re responding to an emergency. A resourceful attorney can obtain the call logs of the emergency vehicle to validate whether the driver was indeed responding to a call or whether he was just diving irresponsibly under the cover of his vehicle’s status.
Accident reconstruction reports. A seasoned attorney may have the resources to obtain a visual reconstruction of the accident that can be used to show the judge and jury exactly what happened in real time. This tactic is especially effective in the courtroom as it not only provides drama but allows the jury to empathize with you on a personal level.
Medical reports. Doctor’s notes, injury diagnoses, images, bills, and treatment suggestions are all helpful in displaying the severity of your injuries and why you need compensation for medical expenses.
Expert witness statements. When the validity of your injuries is questioned, an attorney can secure an expert witness to corroborate how an accident such as yours can result in the injuries you sustained. He may also be able to verify that your specific injuries have the ability to disrupt or completely change your quality of life—thus making you worthy of compensation.
Taking the First Step
For more information on emergency vehicle accidents or any other catastrophic collision, feel free to browse our website or call our office at 800.636.3676 to speak directly to one of our legal staff members.