Following a vehicle crash resulting in injuries, discovering how the crash occurred and who or what was at fault is of primary concern.
The collection of evidence is essential. It comes from various sources, including anything of note that remains at the scene of the crash.
Types of evidence
In defending a driver or passenger injured in a vehicle accident, useful evidence can include documentation and information gleaned through depositions. It is also important to collect evidence remaining at the scene of the crash as soon as possible. Certain kinds of evidence will fade because of exposure to the elements or become swept away due to passing traffic or other kinds of disturbances.
Law enforcement responsibilities
Police officers are responsible for securing the scene of a vehicle crash and completing accident reports. They will take photographs and record video footage. Officers will also mark a scene, which means that they will use evidence flags and spray paint to pinpoint key areas or items. They do not, however, perform an in-depth investigation or collect all the roadway evidence. This kind of work falls to others such as legal teams, forensic engineers and accident reconstructionists.
When put together, many types of roadway evidence can tell the story of a vehicle crash:
- Tire tracks
- Skid marks
- Fluid stains, such as brake fluid, engine oil or blood
- Gouges in pavement
- Damage to curbs, buildings, guardrails or other structures
- Cargo from vehicles or occupant belongings left behind
- Final resting positions of vehicles
Interpretation of evidence
Interpretation of the evidence collected, whether it be in the form of documentation from interviewing witnesses or photos of the tire racks showing the direction in which each vehicle was moving, will be essential in determining negligence for the crash. The victim dealing with injuries has a right to expect full and fair compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages and more.