Law enforcement officers are not alone in their investigation at the scene of a vehicle crash.
If you are the accident victim, your legal team will look for evidence at the crash site that helps determine who was at fault.
Going right to work
Among the first steps for a victim to follow after a vehicle crash is to contact an attorney. One of the attorney’s first tasks is to investigate the crash scene. Outside professionals, such as accident reconstructionists or forensic engineers, may join the legal team in looking for evidence at the site. Because some evidence can fade quickly due to time or weather conditions, it is important to launch the investigation as soon after the crash as possible.
Types of roadway evidence
Your team will look for various kinds of evidence that paints a clearer picture of the crash:
- Skid marks
- Tire tracks
- Damage to curbs, guardrails, telephone poles, mailboxes and other objects
- Fluid stains, such as brake fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid or blood
- Vehicle debris and glass, as from a broken windshield
- Gouges in dirt or pavement
- Marks that indicate the positioning of the vehicles following impact
- Pedestrian information, such as clothing or shoes worn
- Animals involved in the crash
Mapping and more
Your team may employ scene mapping. This is where a drawing or diagram develops from measurements taken using surveying equipment. Photographs and written documentation accompany scene mapping. Reconstructionists or forensic engineers also look at the possibility that a roadway defect or design flaw bears some responsibility for the crash.
Dealing with injuries
If you sustain injuries as a vehicle crash victim, your health is, of course, your first priority. However, medical treatment can become expensive. After determining fault for the crash, your advocate will negotiate insurance compensation on your behalf. A full and fair settlement covers both your current and ongoing medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. It all begins with a thorough investigation of the crash scene.