The first thing most lawyers will ask to see if you are involved in a car accident is "Do you have a copy of the police report?" The police report almost always is the beginning roadmap for any car accident investigation.
In a case involving death or significant injuries, the sooner I can be involved in an investigation of the accident scene, the better. There are many reasons but here are a few:
It helps me to better understand what happened by actually physically seeing the accident site.
If I am involved while the law enforcement markings are still on the roadway, I can form my own opinion as to whether I agree or disagree with the investigating officer. If I disagree, I can retain an accident reconstruction expert to assist my client in either confirming the police officer accident report or coming up with another explanation for how the accident happened.
As the advocate for someone injured or killed in a car accident, I can have a better understanding of what happened so that when I discuss the case with the insurance company or the corporation responsible for the collision, it will be very evident that I have done my homework. People that negotiate cases on behalf of the insurance company very rarely ever physically see the accident location. It is a very big advantage to say "I have been to the site with my client…"
Another reason to visit the accident site is to determine whether there are any independent witnesses that were not included on the police report. Let's face it, law enforcement has a tough job trying to figure out what happened while trying to make sure that everyone at the accident scene remains safe.
While it is never too late to investigate an accident scene as long as the limitations for the case has not passed, the sooner the better. Time has a way of allowing evidence to slip away.
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Jeff Weinstein, Truck Accident Lawyer