Many questions arise following a vehicle crash, the foremost being who or what was responsible.
Law enforcement officers, legal teams and specialists, as required, will commence investigations and gather evidence to determine what happened to cause the accident.
Importance of scene investigation
If you are the injured victim of a vehicle crash, you will want to know exactly what happened, and your legal team will want to know where to assign blame. Did a drunk driver cause the accident? Was a negligent driver texting at the time of the crash? Was a roadway defect to blame, coupled with inclement weather? To answer these questions, an investigation should get underway as soon as possible because evidence can quickly fade or disappear entirely.
Types of evidence
Police officers will secure the accident scene and prepare a report, but they usually have little time to conduct a thorough investigation. This task goes to others who will collect and examine many types of evidence left from the vehicle wreck:
- Fluid stains, such as engine oil, brake fluid or blood
- Paint marks left by law enforcement
- Skid marks and tire tracks
- Damage to curbs, guardrails, telephone poles and other structures
- Gouges in dirt or pavement
- Vehicle debris
- Broken glass from car windows
- Cargo separated from vehicles
- Final resting positions of the vehicles involved
Part of the accident investigation is whether a roadway defect or design flaw played a role in the incident, especially if the weather conditions were poor at the time of the crash. The evidence collected may point to the other driver as the negligent party. However, if the investigation turns up strong evidence of ill-conceived roadway design or a flaw—a pothole, for example—liability for the crash could extend to state or county agencies responsible for roadway construction or maintenance. At the end of the investigation, you will know what or who caused the accident and your injuries, and you can proceed with filing a claim for compensation to cover your medical expenses and more.