Maybe when you are in an auto accident, you may not think there is much to investigate. After all, you got hurt – so you are the victim, and someone needs to pay … right?
If only it were that simple. Insurance companies have their own interests, police officers have their own interests, and those involved in the accident have their own interests as well, and very rarely do they all coincide.
Defend Your Interests
What is necessary in these situations is a form of conflict resolution, which in this case comes in the form of an auto-accident investigation. This is a very detailed and comprehensive look at an auto accident to find out all the facts and accurately determine a cause and possible liability. It cuts through all the conflicting interests and gets to the truth of what happened and how it happened.
Though, of course, you think your interests will always come first (and should), the reality is that every stakeholder in an auto accident has that same belief in priority, and an accident investigation is the way to secure the right priority for the case. It is a good idea to hire a Memphis auto-accident personal-injury attorney who can stand by your side, hire an independent accident investigator to ensure that your interests are protected and the right liability can be assigned.
What is an Accident Investigation?
To investigate an accident is part Sherlock Holmes, part Albert Einstein. As most people are not actual witnesses to an auto accident, all the work in investigating an accident has to do with taking after-the-fact evidence, using physics and mathematical formulas to reconstruct the accident to determine what happened and how.
An independent investigator has no agenda; he or she is just there to analyze the accident and develop findings and conclusions that establish the chronology and events surrounding the accident.
There are things you should know that would explain why an independent investigator is the best option, and not to save money and rely on insurance or law-enforcement investigators to find the facts:
- Insurance investigators are only looking for any cause that eliminates liability for its policy holder, so it doesn’t have to pay out. This means the investigation won’t be thorough or complete; and
- Law-enforcement will only investigate far enough to determine if any criminal activity took place (speeding, driving under the influence, etc.). It’s not so much interested in the cause, just factors that may have contributed to the accident.
Many independent investigators are former police officers, retired officers, physicists or engineers – and some just have a background in insurance adjusting or math. Having those kinds of skills can be valuable in reconstructing an auto accident scene. They aren’t simple arithmetic – they are often complex 500-piece jigsaw puzzles.
Accident Investigation Process
No matter the background of an auto-accident investigator, there is a process that each goes through to determine the nature and cause of an auto accident. The first step is to fully analyze the accident site.
Here, an investigator will take lots of measurements of skid marks, angles of cars to each other and the roadway, and measure the severity of the damage to each vehicle as well as note any debris in the roadway and make notes of weather conditions.
After compiling an exhaustive amount of data, the investigator will conduct several formulas and physics equations to explain the speed and direction of the vehicles before and after impact and will follow up on any reports from insurance adjusters and/or law enforcement to supplement the work in order to determine all that happened. From there, a determination can be made as to the cause(s) of the accident and thus ultimate liability or responsibility can be determined.
While an independent accident investigation can be a very important tool in deciphering an auto accident and the single or multiple causes, such an investigation doesn’t just happen. If you really want the truth about an auto accident, it will be up to you to hire a Memphis personal-injury attorney to help you defend your rights and to help you hire an accident investigator to fully understand what happened.
Going through a lawsuit over compensation for injuries and property loss, is an emotional and financial ordeal. It is not something to be taken lightly, and your insurance company won’t necessarily be there to help you – it has its own interest to not pay you for your suffering. An independent investigator can help you understand the facts of the accident and give you the knowledge you need to determine if a lawsuit is worth the effort.
Contact our office today for a free consultation and let us help you get to the truth of your auto accident and ensure that the right people are held responsible.