Wrong-Way Crash on Interstate 85
Few details were available after a wrong-way driver caused a serious crash on a Bay Area interstate highway.
The wreck happened near the off-ramp for De Anza Boulevard. Investigators believe that a wrong-way driver caused the serious injury collision.
Traditional and Electronic Evidence in Car Wreck Claims
Since victims must establish negligence by a preponderance of the proof, evidence is critical in vehicle collision claims. Sometimes, traditional sources provide the necessary proof. Other times, a San Jose car accident attorney must dig deeper.
Frequently, the combination of witness statements, medical bills, and the police accident report provides the necessary evidence. But that’s not always the case.
Witness statements are a good example. Frequently, the only witnesses to car wrecks are passing motorists and the vehicle occupants. Passing motorists rarely loiter at accident scenes in order to talk to police officers. It’s also difficult for an attorney or private investigator to locate these people later. Moreover, many victims are hurt so badly that they cannot remember any details about the accident, or they do not survive long enough to share them with others.
Electronic evidence, such as an Event Data Recorder, often fills in the gaps. Much like a commercial jet’s black box flight data recorder, most EDRs measure and record information like:
- Steering angle,
- Vehicle speed,
- Brake application, and
- Engine RPM.
Frequently, EDR data is more accurate and reliable than witness statements. If they are working right, computers are never incorrect or biased. For this reason, electronic evidence is hard to successfully challenge in court.
There are some issues to deal with. California has some of the strictest vehicle data privacy laws in the country. Frequently, attorneys must obtain court orders before they can access and download EDR information.
Other electronic evidence in California car wreck claims includes surveillance video and GPS location data.
Fault and Liability
The evidence in a vehicle collision does not always exclusively determine negligence, or the lack thereof. That’s because there’s often a difference between fault at the scene and liability for damages.
Head-on wrecks are a good example. The driver who crossed the centerline isn’t always legally responsible for a wreck. Assume Chris is driving southbound on the northbound side of a highway when he comes upon David, who is northbound on the northbound side. If David doesn’t change lanes or otherwise try to avoid a crash, he could be legally responsible for Chris’s damages, even though David did nothing wrong.
Let’s change the facts a bit. Now assume Chris was southbound on the southbound side when he suddenly drifted across the centerline and into David’s path. In that situation, there was probably little or nothing David could have done to avoid a collision. So, upon further review, Chris is probably responsible for damages.
The damages in a vehicle collision claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Rely on an Experienced Attorney
Successful car crash claims rely on solid evidence and skilled legal analysis. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Jose, contact Solution Now Law Firm. We routinely handle matters in Santa Clara County and nearby jurisdictions.