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Tampa Car Accident Lawyers > Blog > Car Accidents > Evidence in a Tampa Car Crash Case

Evidence in a Tampa Car Crash Case


The victim/plaintiff has the burden of proof in a negligence case. This party must establish liability by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Although that is the lowest standard of proof in Florida law, the victim/plaintiff still need substantial evidence to prove a negligence claim. Furthermore, Tampa juries often award damages based on the strength of the evidence.

Like many other areas of our lives, evidence collection in torts cases has changed considerably over the last twenty years. But at the same time, some of the oldest and most reliable forms of evidence-gathering are still valid.

Tried and True Methods in Florida

Ever since the first fatal accident in 1891, witness statements have been perhaps the most important source of evidence in car crash cases. Such testimony is arguably the most simple, and most compelling, source of evidence in these cases.

First responders usually interview a few witnesses at the scene. But many people do not like talking to police officers, for various reasons. Moreover, some people may not come forward because they only saw part of the crash. A personal injury attorney, often working in partnership with a private investigator, can often obtain statements from key witnesses that first responders missed.

First responders usually prepare accident reports as well. Largely because of the aforementioned issues with witness statements from the scene, these documents are usually incomplete as well. Moreover, first responders often only hear one side of the story. Very often, the victim is unavailable to give a statement because of injury or wrongful death.

Photographs and other physical evidence is important as well. So, it’s important to take pictures of things like skidmarks, injuries, and property damage. This process is easier now than it was twenty years ago. Most cell phones have high-resolution cameras, and most Hillsborough County courtrooms have high-resolution TV monitors.

Recent Innovations in Tampa

These traditional sources of evidence have been highly successful for a number of generations, and they are still effective today. However, there are other sources of evidence available as well.

Video evidence is often a key element in the victim/plaintiff’s case. Such evidence often comes from nearby surveillance cameras or intersection red-light cameras. Other times, a camera from a block or two away may help shed light on the accident. For example, such a camera might catch a glimpse of a fleeing hit-and-run suspect.

The Event Data Recorder is important as well. Many vehicle owners in Tampa do not even know that their cars have EDRs. Yet these devices are standard in all new cars. They capture and record information like:

  • Vehicle speed,
  • Engine RPM, and
  • Steering angle.

In court, EDR evidence is very precise and almost impossible to challenge. If a witness testifies that the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was “travelling fast,” an insurance company lawyer can often attack the witness’ credibility. But if EDR data states that the car was travelling 53.7mph, it is very difficult to undermine such evidence.

There are some special legal issues with regard to EDR evidence. First, an attorney must usually send a spoliation letter to the insurance company to preserve this evidence. It’s normally a good idea to send this letter within a few days of the crash. Second, due to Florida privacy laws, an attorney usually need a court order to access the EDR’s data.

Contact Aggressive Lawyers in Tampa

Diligent evidence gathering helps build successful negligence cases. For a free consultation with an experienced auto injury attorney in Tampa, contact The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. We routinely handle cases in Hillsborough County and nearby jurisdictions.



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The greatest distinguishing feature among attorneys is their level of experience. Our firm has more than 60 years of legal experience, much of it spent in the courtroom at trial. As a result, our Tampa personal injury lawyers rarely encounter an unfamiliar situation and can thoroughly answer your urgent questions. Our criminal defense practice features a board certified criminal trial lawyer and two former prosecutors with impressive knowledge of trial tactics and procedures.

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Whether your case involves medical malpractice, an auto accident or a wrongful death, your attorney must be prepared to take the case all the way through trial to verdict. Many personal injury attorneys advance the cost of litigation, so they can only last so long before financial pressures start to mount. As a client, you have to wonder whether an attorney's advice to settle your case reflects the quality of the offer or your attorneys need to get paid. Fortunately, The Matassini Law Firm has the resources to pursue civil verdicts and settlements that reflect the actual value of your case.

Call our Tampa Bay car accident lawyers for a free consultation

A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa car accident attorneys, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

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