A thorough investigation at the site of a vehicle crash provides valuable insights into the cause.
In starting the search on behalf of an injured victim, a legal team may call in professionals who specialize in scene investigation.
Marking a scene
In the aftermath of a vehicle crash, law enforcement officers will arrive to secure the crash site. They will take photographs and videos and prepare accident reports. They will usually “mark the scene” by using flags or spray paint to indicate the location of key evidence. However, the police rarely have time to conduct a detailed investigation.
Evidence left behind
Professional accident reconstructionists will gather any remaining evidence. They will begin their work as soon as possible after the crash since evidence can vanish due to issues such as weather, sun exposure and passing traffic. Common types of roadway evidence include:
- Gouges in dirt or pavement
- Tire tracks and skid marks
- Fluid stains such as brake fluid, engine oil and blood
- Broken glass from windshields
- Vehicle debris
- Damage to objects such as guardrails, mailboxes and telephone poles
- Cargo from vehicles
- Final resting position of vehicles
Investigators might also use surveying equipment to take measurements at the crash site. They then prepare drawings that show the conditions at the time of the accident and the evidence left behind. This is the scene mapping process. The legal team will add this information to police reports, any eyewitness reports and more. The scene investigation will provide valuable clues as to the cause of the crash and help the advocates for an injured victim to assign liability.