Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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How Are Car Accidents Investigated?

Car accidents are not uncommon in the United States. One road accident, whether major or minor, occurs every minute. Car accidents usually go through extensive investigation to determine the cause of the accident and which party had caused it. Law enforcement conducts the investigation, and attorneys, insurance companies, and witnesses are involved. 

The investigation for a car accident does not start late. The later the process begins, the more the chances of losing critical evidence. If you have been in a car accident, you are likely worried about your damages. Speak with a Lance D. Youd Personal Injury Law attorney and understand how the investigation process can help establish liability. 

Police investigation 

The first part of the investigation begins right after the accident at the accident scene. Law enforcement sends a few police officers to the accident scene who make notes, take measurements, talk to witnesses, etc. At the end of the investigation, a police report is created, which contains crucial information about the accident and a rough sketch. 

Information contained in the report includes: 

  • Location, time, and date of the accident.
  • Names and contact information of the parties involved.
  • Details about the vehicles involved.
  • Information about the injuries and deaths, if any.
  • Road, lighting, and weather conditions.
  • Written description and diagram of the accident. 
  • Statements from the drivers and occupants of the vehicles.
  • Witness statements.

Insurance company investigation 

The insurance company conducts its own investigation. They always have a team of investigators ready to visit the accident site at a moment’s notice. They usually try to find information that might limit the company’s liability and free them from the responsibility of paying the victims. 

Their mode of investigation is the same as that of police officers, such as taking photos and videos, making diagrams, talking to witnesses, noting down information about the parties involved, etc. 

Investigation continues after the accident scene is cleared.

The investigation process does not stop after the accident scene is cleared. This is where an attorney becomes involved in the case. An attorney has the resources and knowledge to conduct this part of the investigation. Common pieces of evidence that an attorney looks for include: 

  • Video surveillance 
  • Dashcam footage 
  • The driving record of other drivers
  • Mobile device data
  • Vehicle “black box” data
  • Citation or arrest information from law enforcement officials 

Accident reconstruction 

There are times when the usual investigation does no good in determining liability, in which case an attorney may have to work with an accident reconstruction expert. An accident reconstruction expert has extensive knowledge about the mechanics of a vehicle and can provide crucial information to establish fault. They can also create a 3D model of the accident. 

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