Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Electronic Evidence in Renton Car Crash Cases

Posted Friday, August 26, 2022 by Chris Thayer

The burden of proof in a negligence claim is only a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. That is one of the lowest burdens of proof in Washington. However, as is usually the case in life, the minimum effort usually means minimum results. To obtain maximum compensation, attorneys often must go beyond minimal evidence, like the police accident report, medical bills, and witness statements.

As outlined below, electronic evidence often makes the difference between maximum compensation and settling for less. Only an experienced Renton personal injury lawyer has the know-how and resources necessary to obtain this evidence and present it properly in court. A lot is at stake. Compensation in a car crash claim usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

*Surveillance Video* Even in smaller towns like Renton and Mercer Island, at least one camera, like a traffic or security camera, overlooks almost every intersection and stretch of highway in the area. In court, a surveillance camera is like an eyewitness who is never biased or incorrect and always has a good view of a crash.

Additionally, most cameras record footage in high-definition digital video. So, it’s easy to present in court, and the high-quality footage is easy for jurors to see.

Some hurdles exist. Human eyewitnesses often voluntarily come forward. Cameras never come forward on their own. Instead, a Renton personal injury lawyer, sometimes in conjunction with a private investigator, must find them. Moreover, Washington law requires a special electronic evidence authentication proceeding.

*Event Data Recorder* Just like all large commercial jets have a black box flight data recorder, all commercial and noncommercial vehicles have an EDR. These gadgets first appeared in the 1970s. Today, they’re much more sophisticated. Most EDRs measure and record things like:

A Kent personal injury attorney can put these bits of evidence together like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and create a clear picture for jurors.

Much like surveillance video, EDR information, which is often critical in car crash cases, is not always available.

Washington has strong vehicle information privacy laws. Normally, attorneys must go to judges and convince them to issue court orders before they can inspect and download EDR information. Furthermore, because these gadgets are so sophisticated, the inspection and downloading process requires a lot more than a screwdriver and a laptop.

That’s assuming the EDR is available at all. Most insurance companies destroy wrecked vehicles within a few days of a crash. If that occurs, all physical evidence in the vehicle, including the EDR, is lost.

To prevent insurance companies from “accidentally” destroying vital evidence, attorneys must immediately send spoliation letters to insurance companies. These letters create a legal duty to preserve any potential physical evidence for later inspection.

*Connect With a Dedicated King County Attorney* Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Renton, contact Pivotal Law Group, PLLC. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.