Failing to Investigate After a Car Accident Can Hurt Your Chances of a Successful Claim
The average Dallas driver does not know how to investigate a car accident. The purpose of an investigation of a car accident is to determine fault. But why is investigating a car accident so crucial for a car accident claim? How are car accident investigations conducted? How are investigations used to determine liability?
The Basics of the Investigation After a Car Accident:
After a car accident, there are generally three groups examining the accident and the accident’s details: law enforcement officers, insurance company agents, and independent accident investigators. The police investigate Dallas car accidents to seek out indications of criminal activity. Insurance company agents and adjusters seek indications and evidence to determine the cause of the accident and the party at fault for the accident, which, in effect, determines who is liable for damages. Independent accident investigators seek signs and evidence of negligence to help recover compensatory damages.
The Investigation Starts at the Scene of the Dallas Car Accident:
After a Dallas car accident, the first to arrive at the scene is typically a police officer. The priority of any responding police officers is to get any injured parties medical attention. Once injured parties are medically treated, police officers take down preliminary information about the car accident, including weather and road conditions, date and time, location of the accident, parties involved in the accident, any injuries or fatalities that occurred, the presence of any alcohol or drugs, any suspected drug or alcohol use, etc.
Gathering and Preserving Evidence After a Dallas Car Accident:
After a Dallas car accident, it’s crucial to inspect the accident scene before it’s compromised. Many factors can easily and quickly compromise car accident scenes, but usually, it’s the weather, time, or actions of people on the scene. Investigations can significantly benefit from photos taken at the scene of the car accident. Investigators frequently take photos of the accident scene and use sketches or chalk marks to indicate areas that need attention or further investigation.
Evidence to Look For at the Scene of a Dallas Car Accident:
- Puddles of gas, blood, or oil
- Debris from involved vehicles (like glass, broken car parts, bumpers, blown tires, shredded tires, etc.)
- Skid marks or gouge marks on the road, ground, sidewalk, pavement, or other objects at the scene (like guardrails, telephone poles, etc.)
- Evidence of drinking while driving (empty beer cans, etc.)
- Measurements from the point of impact to the place the vehicle stopped
- Any items thrown from the vehicle at the point of impact (like bags, purses, phones, etc.)
- Any evidence (on the involved vehicles) indicating safety violations of mechanical failures that could have caused or contributed to the car accident
The Importance of a Thorough Investigation for Your Car Accident Claim:
After a car accident, putting the pieces together to determine what happened, who is liable, and what percentage of liability lies with each party involved is a tricky process. A thorough investigation is beneficial in proving liability. Without essential information gathered through an investigation, injured parties may not have the information to back up a personal injury claim. This leaves injured parties at a disadvantage when negotiating with insurance companies regarding their claim and in court if their personal injury claim goes before a judge. Without essential information obtained from a thorough investigation, it may be challenging to obtain a reasonable settlement.
If you’ve suffered an injury after an accident and you need to file a claim, get in touch with an experienced Dallas, Texas personal injury attorney at Hudson Law Firm. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.