How do you investigate a car accident?
How do you figure out who is at fault for a car accident? Why are accident investigations important for filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, especially with Florida’s no-fault state status? The following information highlights how car accident investigations are conducted. It also shows how they are used to determine liability. Please keep in mind that there are many factors when investigating a car accident. This is not an exhaustive or complete list of these factors.
How long do car accident investigations take?
There are three groups of people who examine car accidents. They are law enforcement officers, insurance company agents, and independent accident investigators. Each has its own purpose.
- Police officers investigate car accidents for indications of criminal activity.
- Insurance company agents or adjusters look for who caused the accident and are responsible for damages.
- Independent accident investigators look for negligence to recover compensatory damages.
How to Examining the Auto Accident Scene Investigations?
Police officers are usually the first to arrive at the scene. Obviously, their priority is getting medical help for the injured. Once this is done, officers have the chance to take down preliminary information that might include:
- The exact location of the accident
- Date and time
- Weather and road conditions
- Number of injured people and/or fatalities
- Presence of alcohol, drugs, or suspected drug or alcohol use
How to Gather and Preserving Car accident Evidence?
It is important to inspect the accident scene for evidence before it is compromised by weather, time, or human activity. Most car accident investigators take photos of the scene. They might also make sketches or use chalk to designate an area that needs further inspection.
Some types of evidence that a car accident investigator looks for at the accident scene may include:
- Puddles of gasoline, blood, or oil
- Debris such as pieces of glass, fender, shredded or blown tire, and other vehicle parts
- Skid, scrub, or gouge marks on the pavement, ground, or stationary objects (a telephone pole, for example)
- Measurements between the point of impact and vehicle resting place after the collision
- Evidence of alcohol or drug use (such as an empty beer can)
- Pieces of private property that were thrown from the car at impact (cell phones or purses, for example)
A skilled car accident investigator will also examine the vehicles involved in the collision. Examining the damaged vehicles may reveal mechanical failure or safety violations that caused the accident.
How many steps are there in the Auto accident Scene investigation process?
There are other signs that a car accident investigator looks for when examining the vehicles:
Car Accident Investigation Procedure
- Their location after the impact
- Damage to all involved vehicles
- The position of turn signal levers
- Broken or missing seat belts
- Functioning headlights and taillights
Car Accident Investigation Report
Police officers, insurance investigators, and private accident investigators should be careful when examining and collecting evidence. Otherwise, they face legal and professional consequences for tampering, destroying, or improperly gathering evidence. Their investigation will play a significant role in determining criminal and civil actions against those at fault. For more legal help call our Fort Myers personal injury lawyer.
Putting the Pieces Together for an Accurate Recreation
Finding out what happened in a car accident is like fitting jigsaw puzzle pieces together. Other pieces of information must be included to get the full picture. These include:
The last step of a car accident investigation is usually a reconstruction. Accident reconstructions combine physics and mathematics to determine the sequence of events that led to the collision. They use measurements and calculations such as the manufacturer’s weight of the car, skid marks, and other data.
An accident reconstruction helps show key elements in a car accident, including:
- Speed of vehicles
- Relative positions throughout the accident
- The direction of travel both before and after impact
- Point of impact (there may be more than one if it is a multi-vehicle accident)
- Road surface and conditions
Today’s accident investigators may use accident reconstruction software programs such as Virtual Crash. Others might sketch the accident by hand. Either way, a car accident investigator has a responsibility to be as exact and objective as possible.
Why It Is Important to Determine Liability in a Car Accident?
In addition to figuring out if there are any criminal charges or illegal activity, a car accident investigation can also name who is at fault. If you were injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may have physical, mental, or financial damages. You might be entitled to compensation because of the driver’s negligence. You have the right to seek potential compensation regardless of any criminal charges.
How Recovering Compensation From a Negligent Driver?
It is important to understand how car accident investigations work because they play a crucial role in recovering potential compensation. For example, if an investigator from our law firm proves that your injuries are consistent with findings from the accident scene, this strengthens your claim. As a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer, the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato will investigate and recreate as necessary to recover compensation that you might be entitled to receive.
Car Accidents in South Florida Are Plentiful
Unfortunately, South Florida offers plenty of work for car accident investigators. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 40,782 car accidents in Broward County in 2018. There were more than 63,500 accidents in Miami-Dade Country during that same time.
Contact The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato For Help
If you were involved in a car accident, you could qualify for compensation for expenses such as medical bills, car repair, and lost pay. For a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato at (954) 633-8270 or click here.
FAQs Related To Car Accident Investigations in Florida:
What measurements are taken at the scene of a car accident?
The immediate priority is to seek medical help for the injured people. Scenes are often chalked out, and sketches are made to secure the area for complete vehicle accident investigation. To firmly record the pieces of evidence, photos and videos of the scene are taken. In case of severe accidents involving casualties, the impact scene may also be defined by caution tapes for preventing the evidence from being tampered with. Dedicated authorities are called for looking into the matter, and investigation procedures are followed.
What goals do investigators have when examining a car accident?
Police officers are usually the first to arrive and conduct the auto accident scene investigations for any possible criminal activities. They also take down all the preliminary information available at the spot, including the exact location of the accident and the people involved. Insurance company agents figure the cause of the accident through the evidence— finding out who’s at fault.
The independent accident investigators try to find out the negligence in the accident against which compensations are liable. Most investigators take photos of the scene to make a record. They also look for relevant evidence around the scene, including stains of blood, marks of skids, and the possible presence of drugs.
What are the steps of accident investigation?
The entire car accident investigation procedure starts with noting down the initial information of the scene and ends with the reconstruction of the accident. This is followed by the determination of liabilities for the damages caused.
Once all the preliminary data is logged, and evidence is gathered by investigators, the impact of the accident is analyzed. This includes the consideration of vehicles involved, measurements from the point of impact, and the revelation of mechanical failures. Then, you have to preserve the evidence and draft an investigation report. Lastly, the complete accident scene is recreated to study the calculations of the impact.
How do police investigate a car accident?
When the police arrive, they immediately call for a medical emergency and help the injured. Then, they start their investigation by looking for indicators of any criminal activity involved. Police officials may record statements of witnesses and capture photos of the accident scene to include in their report. This police report forms the basis for individual investigators to make their observations. Police also ensures the safety of all people present at the scene and manage the traffic movements around.
What are some investigation techniques?
To investigate auto accidents, evidence is recorded manually to log all the valuable leads. Scene areas are defined, so they are not tampered with by external sources. Reconstruction of the accident helps in scientifically analyzing the sequence of collision events. It covers the vehicles’ speed, relative positions during the impact, and the road conditions. Various software solutions help in online accident reconstruction. Detailed investigation reports also serve to be a powerful technique in the investigation.
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