When a person is injured in a motor vehicle collision, due to a defective product, or the consequence of poor property maintenance, gathering evidence immediately after the injuring incident is crucial. As one might expect, with time and human intervention, important evidence can be lost, destroyed, or altered in such a way that it is no longer useful. For this reason it is important to get an attorney working on your behalf as soon as reasonably possible after an injury occurs.
Which types of evidence am I referencing? In the context of injuries from a motor vehicle crash there are often emergency records made in real-time as the events are unfolding such as 911 calls. 911 recordings can be particularly powerful evidence since they capture the emotion and distress associated with the moments following the crash. The anxiety and distress in the caller’s voice reporting that their loved one has been injured is a far more compelling evidence than a simple entry in a report indicating “multiple traumatic injuries.” The 911 recording helps to demonstrate to the Court the seriousness and gravity of the, often times, life-altering incident with the necessary human touch.
Unfortunately, most 911 call centers have internal operating procedures instructing that recordings are only kept for a short defined period of time – some as short as only 30 days (the minimum archive time limit established by Pennsylvania law). If an attorney is not timely engaged to ensure that the 911 records are requested and preserved the recordings will be erased, recorded over, and lost forever. As a result, this important persuasive evidence may never make its way into your case.
Similarly, in this age of heightened personal security, we are finding more homes and business with personal security camera systems. Many times our skilled investigators can locate and secure footage from these cameras capturing the motor vehicle collision or fall-down incident as they are happening. There is no greater evidence in a motor vehicle collision injury case, where the drivers are blaming each-other for the crash, than video footage from a nearby home or business capturing the whole incident as it happens.
Like 911 recordings, personal security cameras run on a videotape or digital recording system where historical data is erased or recorded over if not quickly preserved. It is insult to injury if this powerful, important, but volatile evidence is not protected and safeguarded before it is lost. Engage an attorney immediately to ensure that your personal injury case is presented with the full care it deserves.