Conducting Vehicle Collision Investigations
Conducting Vehicle Collision Investigations
I’m Ed Smith, a Yuba City Auto Accident Attorney. There are three entities that routinely conduct investigations of vehicle collisions: the police, emergency services, and insurance companies. However, it is also important that you contact an experienced auto accident attorney to personally investigate the scene of a vehicle collision to obtain evidence of causation, proof of the extent of injuries, and even evidence of fault. Conducting a thorough investigation can significantly increase your chances of success at trial, so if you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with investigative procedures and so can more effectively defend your interests at trial.
Verifying Police Reports – First Step in Conducting Vehicle Collision Investigations
Before conducting an independent investigation, it is important for a plaintiff’s legal team to verify police report accounts by double checking investigative conclusions about accident-related measurements, which include:
- Line of sight;
- Height of any roadside obstacles;
- Point of impact;
- Crush distance;
An Experienced Attorney Will Dig Deeper
Emergency responders are also some of the first individuals to arrive at the scene of an accident. While EMTs and emergency room physicians also make their own reports, it is a good idea for a plaintiff’s legal team to delve further into the medical evidence. In order to simplify this process, legal investigators should become familiar with basic medical principles, including:
- Trauma mechanics;
- Normal vital signs;
- Glasgow coma assessments; and
- First responder protocols.
Experienced Attorneys Check for Errors and Inaccurate Information
Having a thorough understanding of these medical issues can be helpful in detecting any omissions, oversights, errors, or inaccurate entries made by defense witnesses.
Conducting an Independent Investigation
The initial investigation of the scene of an accident should take place soon after the initial meeting with your attorney and after obtaining the police report. While conducting the first investigation, your attorney should complete a variety of steps, including:
- Bringing the police report to the scene;
- Checking and taking new measurements;
- Canvassing the scene for witnesses;
- Investigating witnesses named in the police report;
- Studying the weather conditions at the time of the collision, which could have affected visibility;
- Researching similar weather conditions at the time of year that the collision occurred; and
- Taking photographs that correspond to photos taken by insurance companies and the police.
Reconstructing Accidents Scenes to Properly Determine Fault
Traffic collision reports may be in error or inconclusive. This can leave the family and friends of those seriously injured or killed in a crash with many unanswered questions. Having an experienced attorney obtaining this information could be vital in creating a full-scale reconstruction or detecting mistakes in other investigative reports.
Useful Investigative Tools
The Traffic-Accident Investigation Manual and Traffic Crash Investigation are important tools used by lawyers, engineers, and investigators. These resources can provide direction on a variety of investigative issues, such as:
- Tracking the path of debris at the scene of the accident;
- Determining the point of impact;
- Differentiating tire tracks and skid marks;
- Analyzing footprints; and
- Explaining what to photograph.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is also an important source of information regarding accident statistics and highway and vehicle defect analyses.
Obtaining Expert Opinions
In cases involving such technical details, the opinions of experts is almost always a necessity. Experts that could help solidify a plaintiff’s case include:
- Biomedical engineers;
- Biotechnology experts;
- Reconstruction experts;
- Certified accident investigators; and
- Physicians, surgeons, or other medical experts.
Marysville-Yuba City Auto Accident Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Yuba City Auto Accident Attorney. An attorney’s investigation and preparation are vital to the success of your accident case. If you or a loved one sustained an injury in a car or motorcycle accident or a pedestrian accident, please call me today at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. You may also reach me toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
Meet my legal staff.
I’m a California Million Dollar Forum Advocate. Trial attorneys in this association have won numerous verdicts and settlements of over a million dollars.
Read some of my Past Verdicts and settlements.
I’ve been practicing personal injury law exclusively since 1982.
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Source of Conducting Vehicle Collision Investigations – www.autoaccident.com