What Do I Do Now?
Preserve the Evidence - Then What?
Regardless of whether the case may ultimately be referred
to special crashworthiness counsel, the initial attorney
handling the case should act immediately to preserve
the evidence, if at all possible.
Physical evidence is frequently critical to crashworthiness
cases. Steps should be taken to preserve it from loss
or deterioration at the earliest possible time. The
vehicle in which the plaintiff was an occupant should
always be preserved for examination. If possible, other
involved vehicles should also be preserved. Parts of
the vehicle frequently are dislodged from the vehicle
due to impact, or removed during post-collision transportation.
It may be important to gather all the components, and
store them safely, either with the vehicle or separately.
If tire failure is involved, the tire and all parts
of the tread should be gathered and preserved.
Belt usage may leave distinctive bruising across the
pelvis, the abdomen, the chest, and the shoulder. Such
bruise marks should be documented photographically
if at all possible.
Photographs of the scene are important to document
any marks on the roadway, as well as the location of
any accident debris.
The best single source for information for lawyers
about crashworthiness cases is the Attorneys Information
Exchange for Crashworthiness (AIEG), located
in Birmingham, Alabama. Executive Director David Steelman
can be reached at 205-803-4000. AIEG is a membership
organization open to plaintiffs lawyers, and dedicated
to allowing exchange of information between counsel
on the subject of crashworthiness.
The other major sources for information are the Association
of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) Product Liability
Section and Product Liability Exchange. Locate ATLA
on the web at http://www.atlanet.org/.
Perry & Haas does not offer any guarantee of
Past success in litigation does not guarantee success in any new or future
Our web site describes some of the cases that the attorneys of Perry & Haas have worked on in the past.
Our description of those cases is summary in nature.
You should be aware that the results obtained in each of the cases we have
worked on was dependent on the particular facts of each case. The results of
other cases will differ based on the different facts involved.