How Do Lawyers Investigate Car Accidents?
People often see lawyers make claims about “investigating the facts” of a case, and they generally know what that means. Lawyers will look over this document and that evidence, building a credible argument for their client. Not everyone knows, however, just how these investigations work. Lawyers use a variety of methods to see an accident from all angles, attempting to mentally recreate the incident.
Reconstruction Is the Key
When investigating a car accident, attorneys have one goal: reconstructing the incident. Your lawyer wants a clear picture of exactly what happened that day, and they will use a variety of investigative methods. Some of these steps may not apply to your accident, but your attorney will go through as many of them as they can.
Go Over Police Reports
The information an officer includes in their report can be telling, even when that isn’t the intention. Attorneys can request these reports. Lawyers will go through every detail, looking for bits of information that might seem insignificant to some. Even the smallest contradiction or inconsistency can reveal a greater truth about the accident.
As the person in the accident, you experienced only what happened in your car. There was probably too much noise and confusion for you to grasp the full context of events. By looking at police reports, your attorney can get a broader picture of what happened, possibly seeing ways that the incident was not your fault.
Review Any Photos or Videos
These days, many drivers have dashboard cameras that record their car’s coming and going. Your attorney can review this footage, both yours and the other driver’s, to see what happened firsthand. If there is a flaw in the defendant’s testimony, your attorney can catch it.
Dashboard cameras may not be the only ones that recorded the event. There might be security cameras that caught the incident. Your attorney can request that footage for their case. Traffic camera footage is also usable. Ask your attorney to examine the area where you crashed. If there were traffic cameras within range, your lawyer can use the Open Records Act to obtain that footage.
Scrutinize the Physical Evidence
Your car’s dings and dents are not just signs of damage. They are also storytellers. Every nuance of a scratch or scrape narrates a tale. For example, a dent may be deep, but it trails off. That could be evidence that there was an initial impact and a sudden attempt to change course.
The road itself can speak the truth of the incident. Tire marks patterns could show that a driver hit the breaks but then released them. Perhaps marks are a deep color, indicating that a car’s breaks were engaged throughout the event. A skilled lawyer can look at every single piece of physical evidence to learn more about exactly what happened.
Surrounding property damage also reveals the facts. Anything from how something is bent to which piece separated can show an attorney what happened. To preserve property damage as evidence, lawyers can draft an “anti-spoilation” letter. Once this document is delivered to a property’s owner, that owner cannot fix or tamper with the damaged property. It cannot “spoiled” it until after it is used as evidence.
Examine Medical Records
Your own body can be viewed as physical evidence in a car accident. Exactly how and where you were injured indicates what happened in the accident. Imagine, for example, that you suffered whiplash. The exact location of your injury will hint at the direction your head traveled during the crash. The pathway your head took can indicate where you were hit, in the front or back. It could suggest how hard you were hit, which can also tell your lawyer if the other driver had hit their brakes on time.
When someone saw the event from the outside, they can provide a critical account of what happened. The more witnesses there are, the more accurately your lawyer can reconstruct the event.
Call Upon Expert Witnesses
Your lawyer is smart and experienced, but they don’t know everything. With the help of experts in a certain field, lawyers can verify their theories. Take the medical records as an example. Your attorney can make an educated guess on how your injuries reveal the facts of the case. Their assessments may be correct, but in a courtroom, expert witness testimony will back your lawyer’s theories.
At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC, we have the skills and experience to investigate your case. Using the methods outlined above, we may be able to reconstruct your accident and help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at (918) 347-6456 for a free consultation.