Sometimes determining liability can be pretty simple, such as when there is a rear end collision. Other times, it is not always clear who was responsible for the accident. A car accident investigation is crucial following an accident so that fault can be determined and legal rights be preserved. This article discusses the investigation of liability in such accidents.*
Who is responsible for investigating an accident?
The primary party that conducts an investigation is a police officer who is dispatched at the scene of the accident. When police investigate the scene of the accident, they gather statements from witnesses, speak with both drivers as well as vehicle occupants and try and determine who was responsible for the crash. In many cases, a police officer will issue a citation to the at fault party. Sometimes an accident is investigated by an independent investigator who is hired by the driver themselves, the driver’s insurance company or the driver’s personal injury attorney, depending on the facts and circumstances of what happened.
The steps taken when an investigation of an accident occurs
One of the first steps followed when investigating an accident is an extensive inspection of the scene of an accident. When an investigator arrives at the crash site, he or she will obtain important information, including:
- The specific location of the accident
- The weather conditions at the time the accident occurred
- The conditions of the road where the accident happened
- The time and date of the accident
- When the police were notified about the accident
- The information of the individual who called the police to the scene
- The number of vehicles that were involved
- The make and models of the cars
- Eyewitness statements
- Statements of the drivers and passengers
- The results of a vehicle inspection of the cars involved in the crash
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