Unwitnessed Accident? Maybe not!

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer and over the years many clients have come to me with serious injuries and no witnesses to the collision they were involved in.  Although these cases are difficult because the injured party must prove negligent, an immediate and thorough investigation can sometimes save the day. The first thing the attorney should do is have an investigator or paralegal go to the scene and take photographs from every angle. They should go at the same time of day or night as the collision happened. People are creatures of habit and sometimes they leave school, work or elsewhere at the same time every day. Putting posters up at the scene or putting ads in Craigslist also may be productive.

Secondly, look for traffic cameras if the accident happpened near an intersection. If there is a camera there, it may well have caught the collision on film. You can ask the local police department or other agency maintaining the camera for the film at the caught the collision on film.  You can ask the local police department or other agency maintaining the camera for the film at the time of the crash. A few may be cooperative, but most often the attorney needs to immediately send a letter demanding that They preserve evidence on  the date and time of the collision. Them the attorney will need to file suit and subpoena the video. The attorney must act fast because often the film is destroyed after very short periods of time.

In addition to traffic cameras, survey local businesses around the crash scene and ask employees if they happen to have seen the crash. Additionally, more and more private businesses have their own security cameras that may have captured critical evidence of the  crash.  Finally, do a public records request for any record of 911 calls, 911 call logs and CAD logs. This request can be to either a local police department or the California Highway Patrol. Most of the time, the actual 911 calls may have been deleted, but you will still  be able to see the telephone numbers the 911 calls came in from. Immediately have the investigator call back those numbers.  It’s amazing that many people will call 911, but not stick around for the police to come.  On many occasions, we have been successful in tracking such witnesses down, and often, they are have helped us prove liability when there were apparently no witnesses to the collision.

If you are in a serious accident in Sacramento or surrounding areas, please give me a call.

I’ve been practicing accident law in California since 1982 and have the most authoritative motor vehicle web site in California.

Our Firm is a member of the Million Dollar Advoates  Forum and is highly rated by Yelp and Avvo, the attorney rating site.

Again, I’m Ed Smith. Call me anytime at 916-921-6400 in Sacramento or 800-404-5400 Elsewhere.

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Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.