The Importance Of A Prompt Investigation In Accident Cases

In an earlier post I discussed various things that you should do if your involved in an accident.  People also often forget about the importance of an immediate investigation in motorcycle crash and motor vehicle accident cases.  A good investigation can help with proving both liability and responsibility for injuries or death after a crash.  Don’t assume that responding law enforcement will complete more than the basic accident investigation report or will get all of the information that a lawyer will need in the future when trying to prove your case.

Try to get the name, address, and telephone number of every possible witness in the area.  If you’re too injured to do that, ask someone (if you can) to try to help you with that.  You need witnesses to testify about the crash and support your liability and injury claims.  For a common fender-bender, the responding officer will likely only get information from people who happen to be standing around the scene when the officer arrives but will miss those who have already left.  If someone doesn’t get the witnesses’ names and contact information, they’ll never be found.

Photograph, or ask someone to photograph, the vehicles and the entire accident scene.  Try to think of everything that might be important about the scene — Road conditions, visibility, skid marks, obstructions to view, construction markers, traffic control signals, and lane markings are common examples of things that may later be important in your case but might only be temporary and not available for photographing later.

These things need to be done immediately after an accident while everyone is still at the scene and while accurate photographs are still possible.  Don’t expect that witnesses will magically be found or the scene can be magically recreated later for your lawyer.  Photographs can be especially important if liability is later disputed in your case.  If the other driver claims that a snowy or icy road prevented the driver’s vehicle from stopping, but you have a photograph taken at the scene that shows a clear and dry road, who do you think wins that argument?

Investigation into an accident should begin right away.  Whether the accident involves motor vehicles, defective products or dangerous conditions on property, evidence must be examined and preserved before it is lost or changed.  Photos showing conditions at the time of the accident should be taken before changes are made, and witnesses should be interviewed before memories are lost.  Remember, the insurance company will have an adjuster or investigator on the case immediately.  You should have someone on your side as well. – See more at:

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