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You’ve been in an Auto Accident – Now What?

April 9, 2018 Blog

Following a traffic auto accident, it is important to remember to always immediately call the police.

But not all traffic collisions have police reports created. Generally, they will be generated if one or more parties are injured and require immediate medical care.

It is important to know that a police accident report is not always accurate. Even when the incident is reported in writing, the officer creating the report may not have been properly trained in accident reconstruction and accident analysis, leaving gaping holes in the findings and the collection and interpretation of physical evidence.

Obtain a copy of the traffic incident report promptly, so that an independent analysis can be conducted while evidence is fresh and witnesses can be found and interviewed. Also, a prompt investigation may be a way to find video from nearby businesses before the digital information is lost or destroyed, particularly where retention is 30 days or less.

Getting an accident reconstruction expert out to the scene to take measurements and to assess how the evidence reported either confirms or is contradicted by the information still present at the scene can be very instrumental in limiting the effect of the reporting officers conclusions.

Determining the recollection of independent witnesses and getting signed written statements which may contradict that of the defendant can also help create doubt as to the accuracy of the written account of the police officer.

Photographs of all vehicles involved in the auto accident – before repairs are made ­– can be very helpful to distinguish claims of speed and direction, especially if the collision was a nighttime incident and adequate photography was not available to capture all of the damages of the involved vehicles. Of particular importance would be to capture photos of seatbelts, windshield, skid marks, and intrusion damage with measurements of the intrusion which can help with the reconstruction of claimed speeds.

The use of animation to reverse engineer and recreate the scene can also be very helpful to show how the incident occurred in light of the claimed speeds and damage to the vehicles involved.

It is also helpful to get drivers license information on all of the parties involved from the state Department of Motor Vehicle in order to determine prior history and limits of driving privileges.

It can also be a good idea to order the traffic history from that roadway from the governing body responsible for it’s maintenance. This may reveal a history of prior traffic accidents that were known to law enforcement and which may lead to potential liability for other third parties, other than those who were behind the wheel of the motor vehicle.

If you have been in a car accident, make sure to follow these important steps – and if necessary call a San Diego auto accident attorney who will advocate for you by visiting the collision scene, interviewing witnesses, reviewing photos and consulting with the right experts.

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