Modified: November 16, 2022

Auto Accident Investigation Process 101

Don’t be fooled by deplorable United States insurance adjusters

For inevitable auto accidents, it is relatively easy to determine the cause of the accident. For example, in a two-vehicle crash involving a rear-end collision, the negligent party is usually the one hitting the other vehicle from behind.

Auto Accident Investigation Process 101However, that’s not the case for all accidents. Drivers involved in an accident may not recall the facts of the event or lie to the insurance company. There could also be a case of criminal liability requiring a proper investigation and a police report to hold the right individual responsible for their negligent actions.

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With proper legal support, an attorney can help investigate the accident, including the police report, injuries, and whether any accident damage occurred. These details are essential when filing an insurance claim. Any incorrect details or incomplete information jotted down by the police officer at the car accident scene could lead to claim denial or downright rejection, further prolonging the process.

What Happens on an Accident Scene Following a Wreck?

Whether rental car coverage or bodily injury coverage, contact Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys to investigate your car accident and assess your injury case.

Do Insurance Companies Investigate the Causes of Car Accidents?

Technically, police officers and companies offering insurance investigate most car accidents. The local authorities only conduct investigations when the auto accident is criminal. This could include hit-and-run, DUI, felony, situations involving commercial drivers exceeding their service hours, and more. These companies have accident investigators on their payroll, but the type of investigation they conduct is entirely different than what a law enforcement officer might do.

Unlike police officers, investigators hired by insurers look for evidence to determine the cause of the accident and who is at fault rather than looking for criminal evidence. Collecting the contact information of witnesses and taking photos helps establish liability and financial responsibility. Drivers can also hire their investigators to collect evidence and witness information to combat any rebuttals by the insurance company to get the maximum compensation.

Ehline Law and our attorneys have vast legal experience investigating and dealing with auto accidents for injured victims. Save yourself some time and get a free consultation with our legal experts to assess your injury case. Please enter your contact information into our online form to swiftly start the financial recovery process.

The Investigation Right after a Car Accident Is Important

The window period a car accident victim has between the time of the accident and when filing claims is critical. Before contacting the law firm, you must obtain many things, like gathering insurance information from the at-fault party(ies). A resourceful law firm gets investigators and experts to collect evidence from the accident site immediately after the incident. The signs and evidence are fresh and can aid the claims against other drivers’ insurance companies. However, any delays can lead to evidence removal by the negligent party, reducing the strength of your claims.

Private investigators could include retired or off-duty police officers, professional investigators, automotive experts, retired police officers, and other professionals with experience in the relevant field.

Inspection of the Accident Scene

To reconstruct an accident, independent accident investigators head to the scene of the accident to gather first-hand data, which can include the following:

  • Location
  • Time of the accident
  • Weather conditions
  • Information on the vehicles involved (license plate number, insurance provider info, etc.)
  • General information on the accident (witness cell phone number, address, accident report number, and reporting police station or Highway California Patrol (CHP) info.)
  • Details on additional support (photos of vehicle damage.)

The preliminary investigation is as essential as adequately investigating the accident site, which can include looking for the following:

  • Skid or scrub marks
  • The final resting position of the vehicles
  • Scattered debris
  • Measurements of objects
  • Other relevant details.

An investigation may choose to document these details either by taking photographs or by making sketches. If the investigator decides to stick with taking photographs as a means to document facts, then the independent investigator may take three different types of photographs.

  • Entire scene: To establish location and scale, an investigator will take pictures that portray the whole accident scene with any objects or debris around the crash site.
  • 360-degree photographs: These pictures show all angles and sides of the accident, allowing the insurance companies to see any details that might be useful in establishing fault.
  • Damage photographs: These types of pictures help show the damage’s location and the damage’s extent to the vehicles involved.

Vehicle Inspection

To complete the investigation, investigators not only look for evidence at the accident scene but also check the vehicles.

The purpose of the vehicle investigation is to:

  • To determine if the manufacturer’s defect could have anything to do with the accident.
  • To determine the damage to the vehicle for the investigator’s observations.

An investigator can tell a lot about the accident by simply looking at the location of the damage and its extent, such as the speed of the vehicle, the intensity of the braking, and the point of impact, among many others. All the information gathered from the scene and vehicle inspection helps reconstruct the accident, which is the final stage in the investigation process.

Reconstructing the Accident

After the investigator gets hold of witness statements and conducts vehicle and accident site inspections, they will reconstruct the accident. By using physics and mathematics, the investigators can use the available data to find out the speed of the vehicles at different time intervals and the position of the vehicles. Methods used in reconstructing accidents vary according to the different types of accidents. For example, a rollover can have other parameters than a side collision.

Get a Free Consultation with Our Attorneys Today!

If you got into an auto accident due to someone else’s fault, contact us at (213) 596 – 9642 for a free consultation on your car accident case by a top-rated Los Angeles, personal injury attorney.

You need to secure yourself from any allegations by a third-party insurance company. Our personal injury lawyer is well-equipped to handle auto accident cases, from investigating the accident to filing claims and negotiating with the insurance companies on your behalf. A law firm with personal injury lawsuit experience adds considerable strength to a case, improving your chances of getting compensation.

Ehline Law has protected the rights of more than 3,000 injured victims and recovered over $150 million in compensation for damages, including medical bills, property damage, and more. Whether you have a personal injury protection policy or simple bodily injury coverage, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to get maximum compensation for your automobile accident.

Contact us now for more information on how our attorney and accident investigator can help with your personal injury case and insurance claims. Please enter your contact information into our convenient online contact us form to discover more about forming an exclusive attorney-client relationship today.

Top Notch American Injury Lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.

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Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 596-9642
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