Can You Sue for Car Accidents in Arkansas if There Are No Witnesses?
The ideal car accident case has multiple witnesses with consistent stories that all place the blame on the driver that harmed you. Unfortunately, most accidents occur on highways where witnesses are reluctant to stop and report what they saw or on back roads where there may be no one around to see the crash. Fortunately for many accident victims, there are people out there willing to say what they heard and saw, but many car accident cases go to court with no witnesses. Fayetteville car accident lawyer Ken Kieklak explains how you can sue for a car accident without any witnesses and the challenges involved in these cases.
Suing for Car Accident Injuries Without a Witness
When you take your car accident case to court or file a claim through insurance, the question of who caused the accident is one of the most important factors in getting you the compensation you need. Witnesses can certainly help you build your case and prove it in court, but they are not strictly necessary to win your case. In fact, many cases with multiple witnesses can actually make it harder to prove your case if different witnesses have conflicting stories or remember the events differently.
In most cases, it is impossible to say there are “no” witnesses since both drivers technically qualify as witnesses. Both the victim and the at-fault driver can testify in court or provide information to the insurance companies. This means that these parties usually provide the foundation of the case through their testimony and memory of what happened. Of course, car accidents may be deadly, and a car accident death could mean that any driver may be unavailable to testify to what happened. Even in these cases, there are still ways to determine what happened and prove the case in court.
Car accident scenes provide thousands of clues as to how the accident occurred and who was at fault. Collision experts can recreate how an accident occurred by inspecting the evidence at the scene, the location of damage to the vehicles, and the injuries the drivers received. For instance, skid marks provide excellent evidence that a driver tried to stop to avoid the crash – but a lack of skid marks indicates that the driver had a slow reaction time or didn’t see the accident coming. This can help prove that the driver was drunk or distracted when the accident occurred.
Statements made at the scene and investigation of the driver can also help prove how the accident occurred. Drivers are often flustered and confused after a crash, and their statements may be telling confessions of how the crash happened. For instance, if the at-fault driver says that they only looked down for a second before the crash, that could be evidence that they were distracted. Other evidence can come from:
- Obtaining their cell phone records can provide evidence that they were texting when the accident occurred.
- Police investigations and blood testing can show that they were driving under the influence.
- Commercial trucks involved in truck accidents may also have electronic devices that log speed and other info.
This kind of info can help build a case, even without witnesses.
Lastly, while there may be no human witnesses, there may be electronic witnesses. Security cameras, ATM cameras, traffic cams, or even private dash cams can provide excellent video evidence to back up a victim’s testimony of how the crash occurred.
Proving Your Car Crash Case Without Witnesses
Even if there were no witnesses to the accident, you are required to meet the same “burden of proof” to win your case. In civil cases like personal injury lawsuits, you need to prove “by a preponderance of the evidence” that the other driver caused the crash. This means that the judge or jury needs to be shown that it was more likely than not that the other driver was at fault. This is not as high of a burden as the “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden in criminal cases, and you may be able to meet this burden without eyewitness testimony. If you have other evidence of the crash, like photos of the damage and your own testimony, you may still meet the burden.
In addition to proving how the accident happened, you need to prove the injuries and damages you faced. This part of the case requires no witnesses, but the EMTs or doctors who treated you may be able to testify to the severity of your injuries. Your medical records, hospital bills, bank statements, missing pay stubs, and other evidence can help prove the cost of the medical treatment you needed and the wages you lost because of your injuries. You can also testify personally to the pain and suffering you faced to prove those damages.
Fayetteville, AR Car Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, or if a family member was killed in a crash, you may be able to prove the case without witnesses. There is other evidence that is more reliable than witness memory that can help the jury piece together how the accident occurred. If you need help with your car accident case, contact Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak today. For a free consultation, call (479) 316-0438.
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