If you were involved in an auto accident, the first question you and others might ask is "what happened?" The answer to that question is not always as obvious as it might seem. In many cases, it can take days or even weeks to figure out what caused an accident. When what happened is determined, then the fault is also determined. The driver that caused the accident may, in nearly all cases, be responsible for paying the damages of both drivers. To find out more about your accident investigation, read on.
It Begins at the Scene
The responding law enforcement officers will often spend some time interviewing others at the scene to determine what caused the accident. They will speak to people and take statements, but they will also observe the drivers and check their vehicles for signs of impairment. For instance, they might notice a driver with slurred speech and locate liquor bottles in the vehicle. That may prompt a need for a blood draw at the hospital to determine the blood alcohol concentration.
These officers may also take a close look at the vehicles involved in the accident and the locations of the damage on them. That can tell them who struck who and where. Then, they may turn their attention to the roadway and review where the vehicles came to rest and any skid marks or signs of brakes being applied. Roadside damage of signs, trees, poles, and so forth can also help explain how things ended up as they did. Once law enforcement's investigation is complete, you can find the results in a report known as the accident or police report.
Insurance Adjusters Weight In
Once the accident is reported to both insurance companies, an insurance adjuster is assigned to the case. Those involved in an accident should phone their carrier to report the accident, whether they believe they were at fault or not. Each insurer will form an opinion of the cause of the accident based on photos of the vehicles and interviews with the policyholders. However, and this is important, never speak to the insurance adjuster for the other driver for any reason. You should, though, obviously speak with your own insurance company.
If fault has not been decided after these forms of investigation are complete, your personal injury lawyer might need to hire professionals who are experts in accident reconstruction and investigations. To find out more, speak to a personal injury lawyer about your accident.
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