A Deadly End to 2015

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2016 | Car Wrecks

A head-on crash on Loop 1604 in southwestern Bexar County left one person dead and two people in the hospital.

The wreck took place in the early morning hours close to Benton City Road. According to police, a 19-year-old driver of a large SUV crossed the center line into the northbound lane, where the vehicle slammed head-on at full speed into a smaller car. The 49-year-old driver was declared dead at the scene. Her teenage daughter, who was in the passenger seat, was rushed to a local hospital along with the SUV driver. Both of them are expected to survive.

Loop 1604 was closed for several hours while police searched for clues.

Evidence Collection and Preservation

In cases like these which have no witnesses, it can be difficult to establish liability. After all, the plaintiff does have the burden of proof, and although the victim’s testimony alone is often sufficient, sometimes the jury wants more.

For several years, all new cars have been equipped with Electronic Data Recorders. These devices are similar to the “black boxes” in airplanes. First-generation EDRs did little more than record airbag deployment and perhaps vehicle speed. Now, although an EDR’s capability varies depending on the type of vehicle, these devices generally capture critical data like:

  • Lateral and front force of impact,
  • Crash duration,
  • Vehicle speed,
  • Engine rpm,
  • Steering wheel angle,
  • Brake application and anti-lock brake activation,
  • Vehicle roll angle,
  • Stability control engagement.
  • Number of times the vehicle has been started,
  • Seatbelt use,
  • Seat position,
  • Airbag deployment and specifics, such as faults and speed,
  • Occupant size, and
  • Number of crashes.

All of these metrics are important when building a negligence case against the other driver.

Since most insurance companies destroy totaled vehicles within a matter of days, an attorney must act quickly to preserve this evidence. Typically, this is done through a spoliation letter. This correspondence puts the company on notice that the EDR may be used as evidence later, and creates a legal duty for the company to preserve it.

Damages in a car crash case typically include compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are also available, in some cases.

It is important to act quickly to begin building a negligence case. For a free consultation with an experienced New Braunfels personal injury attorney, contact our office. After-hours and hospital appointments are available.