If 911 was called after your incident, then getting a copy of the audio or written transcript may help maintain or possibly increase the full value of your injury case.
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The 911 Call Greatly Affects Your Personal Injury Case
If you do not get the 911 call, it could be one of the many factors that may affect the value of a possible settlement.
You can Google “how to request the 911 audio call” for the particular county where you were injured. The 911 call may have been made by a store manager, employee or other witness.
On the 911 call, the caller may have told the operator about the severity and/or cause of the claimant’s injury. Maybe the caller mentioned that you had back pain.
This may help if the defendant later argues that your injuries were not caused by the incident or that you were at fault. After all, you want to get the full settlement value of your pain and suffering.
Also, as time passes, witnesses may not want to be involved in the claim. If you have the 911 audio call, the witness may look foolish when they say that they forgot major details about the accident.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen witnesses (way too often) refuse to cooperate in a personal injury case. They won’t even spend a few minutes simply telling the truth. Sadly, many people are selfish.
The 911 recording may also reveal the names and/or contact information of other witnesses that you may not know exist.
You should note that the 911 call may only be available for a limited period of time. For example, in Miami-Dade and Sarasota County, 911 audio calls are only available for 60 days after the call is made. Therefore, the injured person should act fast.
Other counties make the 911 call available for a longer period of time. For example, if you’re injured in Orlando, Orange County Fire Rescue keeps the 911 call for 1 year. Thus, if you’re injured at Universal Orlando Resort, you have 1 year to get the 911 call. Universal Orlando Resort includes Universal Studios and much more.
If the injured person isn’t willing to request the 911 call, he or she should hire an injured. An attorney can request the 911 call. This is just one of the 13 reasons to hiring an injury lawyer.
Most counties let you request the 911 calls by creating a user name and login. You can then check the status of your request.
They will then send you an invoice for the 911 call recording. The charge is usually small. It’s often just $3.00 or so.
You then mail a check back to them along with an invoice.
Can the a computer-aided dispatch (CAD) help your case?
Yes, it may. The computer-aided dispatch (CAD) may be available for a longer period of time. CAD is a method of dispatching emergency services assisted by computer. A CAD reports contains information such as the exact time of the call.
This can help determine the exact time of the accident. With lighting being important in many cases, the CAD report can increase or decrease the value of your case.
The CAD report may also contain the defendants statements.
The CAD may be available for 18 months after the call.
Can you use the CAD report at your personal injury trial?
In Florida, yes.
Computer aided dispatch (CAD) reports are admissible as a business record and as a public record made pursuant to a duty imposed by law to make such a report. Scher v. Valente, 2008 WL 11511475, at *1 (D. Mass. July 16, 2008). It is the burden of the opposing party to show the contents of such documents are untrustworthy. Id.
That’s because it’s presumed a public official will perform his duty (like documentation) properly without bias or improper motivation. Sabel v. Mead Johnson & Co., 737 F. Supp. 135, 141 (D. Mass. 1990). CAD reports are admissible as a public record and/or business record. Van Velkinburgh v. Wulick, 2008 WL 3875428, at *3 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 14, 2008); see also Lilley v. CVS Health, 2019 WL 1396415, at *1 n.2 (D. N.M. Mar. 27, 2019).
CAD report is admissible even without accompanying audio. United States v. Hughes, 840 F.3d 1368, 1383-84 (11th Cir. 2016); see also United States v. Harper, 2009 WL 140125, at **1-2 (W.D.N.Y. Jan. 20, 2009) (CAD admissible as business record).
A party’s speculation that the audio might say something different than the CAD report doesn’t make CAD report inadmissible. United States v. Robinson, 855 F. Supp. 2d 419, 423-24 (E.D. Pa. 2012).
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated. This isn’t legal advice. Always speak with a lawyer for your particular situation.