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Collecting Evidence for Houma Car Accident Litigation

When gathering evidence for an auto wreck, an attorney may ask various questions regarding where the crash took place Some of these questions examine the kind of vehicle the involved party was in, and who was the traffic officer who handled the aftermath of the accident. Get in touch with a seasoned car accident attorney to learn more about collecting evidence for Houma car accident litigation

Crash Report

The attorney may review the Crash Report to determine how the traffic investigator viewed the cause of the crash, whether any tickets were issued and who was at fault. Some traffic investigators may obtain photographs. The photographs can be obtained from the traffic investigator office, whether Houma Police, Terrebonne Sheriff’s Office or Louisiana State Police. If any witnesses are listed in the Crash Report and there are no statements, the attorney could obtain statements from the witnesses. A report can be obtained online immediately.

Chain of Custody

Another rule of collecting evidence for Houma car accident litigation is the chain of custody. The chain of custody analyzes how evidence was transported from the scene to the lab and what happened to the samples while it was at the lab. An attorney may need to prove each and every step of the chain of custody of that sample before the results can be used in court.

For example, an at-fault party may be impaired at the time of the crash and the investigating officer may obtain a court order or consent of the impaired person to obtain blood samples. There must be proof of chain of custody of the blood samples to ensure that they are not altered in any way.

Varying Collection of Evidence

Sometimes witnesses are hard to find or do not want to cooperate. If this is the case, an attorney may hire an investigator to get investigative statements relating to evidence in a Houma car accident case. An attorney may have to institute a lawsuit and issue subpoenas to compel their appearance. This procedure begun after a lawsuit is known as a deposition.

Having someone witness a car crash occur is very helpful for those involved in a car accident case. An attorney may be able to get in contact with a witness and use their testimony as evidence in a Houma car accident case. An attorney can find a potential witness’ information by asking an investigating officer on the scene or doing detective work themselves.

Crash Report

A crash report is completed by a driver involved in an auto wreck. Sometimes a lawyer can get all the information that is needed from a crash report. Sometimes they may have to dig a little deeper. However, a lawyer may not be able to find out about pertinent facts until they take the deposition of a witness.

Cameras

Traffic investigators may have dash-mounted cameras which could automatically turn on when the lights on top of their vehicle are engaged. At the same time, sound is picked up by a microphone on the uniform of the traffic investigator. This is an excellent area to get extra information as to the facts of the crash. Admissions of fault can be reviewed by the actual parties involved in the crash.

Another means of collecting evidence for Houma car accident litigation from the crash scene is to obtain the vest-mounted cameras from traffic investigators. These videos have to be obtained by a public record request to the investigating agency. 911 recordings are a fertile avenue for investigation. In some municipalities, there are traffic cameras at intersections that capture video. This can be helpful also. At times the whole crash is recorded by an overhead camera which shows exactly how the crash occurred.

Another avenue is through commercial establishments in the vicinity of the crash. These commercial establishments may have video cameras that record events in front of their building.

Accident Reconstruction Experts

An attorney may need to utilize the services of an accident reconstruction expert when collecting evidence for Houma car accident litigation. This expert is hired in order to review evidence that can be important if there is a dispute about how the crash occurred. An accident reconstruction expert may ask if there was any debris present and if there were any skid marks. This expert can reconstruct the crash to determine what actually happened.

If the vehicle has not been utilized after the crash the accident reconstruction expert can often obtain black box evidence from the vehicle determining the speed at the time of the crash and the direction of movement of the vehicle at the time of the crash. Consequently, the vehicles need to be preserved so that the accident reconstruction expert can download this information. This may involve a court order to preserve evidence. Other evidence that must be obtained could be medical records.

Steps a Houma Car Accident Attorney May Take

An attorney may want to gather all the facts when collecting evidence for Houma car accident litigation and in preparation for the victim’s case, however, not every fact that is brought to court is going to be admissible. Besides having to be authenticated, it must comply with the Rules of Evidence. In car crash cases where an accident reconstruction expert could testify, an attorney may have to preserve the automobile involved in the crash.

An attorney may ensure that the medical records are certified by the custodian of the medical records of the healthcare provider to ensure that they are admissible under Louisiana law.
In regards to photographs of the crash scene, a witness may be needed to testify that the photographs are an accurate depiction of what they show.