7 Types of Evidence Needed to Win Car Accident Claims
New York City is a hotbed for auto and truck accidents. The numbers are staggering. In September 2022 alone, NYC’s Motor Vehicle Collision Report listed 8,480 traffic accidents (an average of 283 per day), resulting in 3,334 injuries and 13 fatalities across Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island.
Traffic volume is a major cause of NYC collisions, but driver distraction, drowsiness, intoxicated driving, and road maintenance are significant contributors. Even vigilant NYC motorists and cyclists can have a hard time avoiding collisions. And collecting compensation for property damage, medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses can be challenging.
If you or a loved one has experienced traffic-related injuries, understanding the evidence needed to win complete financial compensation is crucial.
New York’s No-Fault Auto Accident Law
New York is one of 12 states with no-fault insurance laws. With many New York insurance policies carrying a $50,000 limit, winning the full and just compensation you deserve can be challenging—placing even more importance on quality evidence collection.
Contacting an experienced NYC traffic accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident is the easiest way to ensure you collect all available evidence from the start. An auto accident lawyer can help you gather evidence that would be difficult to access on your own. A family member can contact a car accident lawyer if you cannot.
Evidence to Prove Your Car Crash Claim
Cyclists, pedestrians, motorists, and others seeking financial recovery for a traffic accident must prove their losses to the insurance company or in court. Evidence is key. Even when the crash was clearly not your fault, negligent drivers and insurance companies are going to fight your account of the incident.
Evidence is vital to showing who is liable, proving negligence, and proving all physical and financial damage. Detailed evidence will also help you dispute any false information the liable driver may try to claim.
Powerful forms of evidence in traffic accident cases include:
1. Photos and Video
Photographs and video taken from cell phones, dashcams, surveillance cameras, doorbell cameras, and other sources. Photos and videos of road conditions, skid marks, tire impressions, vehicle positions, vehicle damage, property damage, injuries, weather conditions, license plates, and other relevant information can be valuable to your case.
2. Physical Evidence
Keep any physical objects that may help you prove your case, including the clothing you wore during the accident, vehicle debris, or damaged belongings.
3. Receipts, Bills, and Records
Gather any documents that may be helpful to your case and keep them in a dedicated folder. Important documents may include:
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Appointment calendars
- Car rental receipts
- Tow-truck receipts
- Vehicle mechanic receipts
- Vehicle repair estimates
4. Logs, Diaries, Notes
Keep a paper log or computer list of important information about your accident. Write down all information you can recall about the accident, including the following:
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Names and contact information of all involved parties
- Dates and times of any medical or physical therapy appointments
- Dates and times of any missed work
- Names and contact information of any eyewitnesses
5. Witness Accounts
Eyewitnesses of the accident may be passengers, bystanders, workers, Uber or Lyft drivers, and anyone present at the scene when it happened. If you notice anyone who may have observed your accident, get their name and contact information. Have them write or record a statement of what they saw as soon as possible after the incident. These individuals may also be called to testify at a later date.
6. Police Reports
Police reports can be valuable evidence. Any officers present at the scene may have recorded information like:
- Any issued citations
- Officer’s opinion on fault
- Other driver’s account of the incident
- Other driver’s contact information
- Other driver’s intoxication level
- Precise diagram of the accident scene
- Witness statements
Police may also have obtained dashcam or bodycam footage of the scene. An experienced New York auto accident lawyer can help you gather these forms of evidence when available.
7. Expert Testimony
Experts can provide compelling evidence for your case. Skilled car accident lawyers have access to a network of highly credible medical professionals, reconstruction experts, engineers, economics professionals, vocational experts, and others who will help verify your account of the incident and the extent of your losses.