Because the evidence left after a vehicle crash can quickly disappear, an investigation of the crash scene should get underway as soon as possible.
If you are the victim of a traffic accident, you can expect your legal team to launch a thorough investigation to determine cause and liability with the assistance of outside experts, if necessary.
What to look for
Investigators who visit the crash scene look for obvious evidence, such as skid marks and tire tracks. Prompt examination of the site is essential because everything from inclement weather to traffic disturbances can cause remnants of the crash to vanish or fade from sight. Investigators will look for many different kinds of evidence:
- Gouges in the dirt or pavement
- Fluid stains, such as transmission or brake fluid, engine oil, radiator fluid or blood stains
- Vehicle debris
- Broken glass
- Damage to curbs, guardrails, telephone poles, trees or buildings
Investigators will look at the paint marks left by the police and examine the vehicles’ final resting positions and any pedestrians possibly involved in the crash. To that end, searchers will look for pieces of clothing or cargo left behind and document evidence with photographs or video.
Another consideration is the possibility of roadway defects, such as potholes, or a design flaw in the road itself. The team of investigators will often include a forensic engineer or accident reconstructionist who can determine if the state of the roadway had a role in causing the accident.
Using the information
If you sustained injuries from the crash, you have a right to full and fair compensation to cover your medical expenses and more. An independent investigation of your accident will help your legal team determine fault and use the evidence to your advantage when the time comes to negotiate with insurance companies.