How to Investigate a Car Accident and How the Police Can Help
Oftentimes, when a car accident occurs, neither party claims fault. One driver blames it on something the other driver did, and vice versa. When an accident occurs, it is always important to remember never to claim fault to the other driver or in a recorded statement until you have spoken to your insurance and an experienced attorney. It is extremely important for both parties and their insurance companies to establish exactly how the accident happened.
How to Investigate an Accident
Again, in serious accidents, it is important to establish exactly how the accident happened in order for the insurance companies to do their work, and also because one of the drivers involved may be criminally liable, depending on the accident. The people who carry out these investigations are either the police, private investigators, or both. Police usually perform the investigation when some sort of criminal activity is believed to have been the cause of the accident, which could include alcohol and drug use. Private investigators perform their investigations on the request and hire of either an insurance company or one of the drivers. They are not looking for evidence of any criminal activity or wrongdoing. Instead, they are trying to determine liability in the accident and assign a monetary amount to the damage that has happened. After the basic information surrounding the accident has been reviewed, the investigator goes to the actual site of the accident and looks for different types of evidence on the road and surrounding areas. An example of this would be skid marks. They do this by taking detailed notes, measurements, and photographs. They then assess the damage to the vehicles and take similar observations, measurements, and pictures.
Police Role After an Accident
After an accident occurs, besides calling for medical help if necessary, the next step one should take is to call the police. This is important if the case goes to court. If the case goes to court, police reports and testimony can be vital to either side in determining liability. Often, police officers are the first ones there at the scene of an accident, and take detailed reports. Another important role the police play is that if they are at the scene, they help facilitate the drivers exchanging their information. When an officer does this, they ensure that both parties have the necessary information, and even document that the exchange took place so that one of the parties cannot use that as an excuse for not fulfilling their responsibilities. Finally, the police officers, in cases of injury, also follow up with the victim in case more information is necessary or other parts of dealing with the accident need attention. They follow up on their reports and make sure that nothing is missing.
If you or a loved one has recently been involved in an auto accident, contact the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. to speak immediately to an experienced West Palm Beach car accident lawyer to help guide you through your situation. We are eager to help you with your case.