Most motorists summon police to the scene after they have an accident. They do so to allow police to document what happened and to help facilitate the exchange of information.
If you’ve ever passed a pretty catastrophic accident before, then you may have noticed law enforcement performing what looks like an investigation. That’s not the only type of investigation that may be warranted post-crash, though. A private one may be as well.
What are the different types of crash scene investigations?
Police investigators have one primary aim in conducting their investigations. Their goal is to determine what factors led a crash to occur. For example, they may consider a driver’s drug or alcohol use, their speeding or distractions or poor vehicle maintenance or their choice to operate their truck outside of service hours when determining liability for a crash. Law enforcement then takes that information to decide whether to cite a driver for a driving infraction.
Attorneys and insurance companies often hire crash scene investigators as well. They do so, in part, to determine liability. Determinations that they make may affect how much money they demand or decide to pay out in an accident case.
How do investigators determine fault or criminal activity after a crash?
All crash scene investigations involve the reconstructionist inspecting the vehicles involved to assess the amount and location of the damage. They can glean a lot of information by doing so, such as how fast the motorists were traveling when the accident occurred.
Crash scene investigators also look for evidence of braking, skid marks, steering and activation of the suspension system when inspecting the vehicle and assessing the roadway. They also look at the condition of the tires and review records showing when sunrise and sunset were as well.
Finally, crash scene investigators review the motorists’ driving records or truck maintenance and safety logs to see what insight it shows about why the accident occurred.
Is it necessary to hire a private crash scene investigator in your case?
Crash scene investigators are generally supposed to be impartial. Their sole responsibility is to determine what occurred — wherever that may lead them. The determinations they make could impact the resolution in your accident case. You’ll want to weigh that carefully when deciding how to move forward in proving liability in your case, so making the decision along with your legal counsel is wise.