Investigating Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents (accidents involving an all-terrain vehicle, a motorcycle, a car or a truck) account for more deaths than accidental drownings, aircraft accidents, residential fires, and hunting accidents combined. However, many people would be surprised to learn that in many cases motor vehicle accident investigations fail to uncover all the facts relating to why these accidents occurred.
In today’s post the motor vehicle accident injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm will discuss why most motor vehicle accident investigations fail to provide sufficient information regarding who, or what, was responsible for such an accident. He will then discuss some of the technology our firm utilizes if we find that a further investigation into the cause of a motor vehicle accident may help our client receive proper compensation for their injuries.
The most important thing to remember regarding any motor vehicle accident investigation is that the investigating agency’s primary concern is with law enforcement rather than conducting a thorough accident investigation. Simply put, once the investigating officer or agency makes a determination regarding a violation of the motor vehicle laws, they view their investigation as complete. They file their report and then leave the rest to the insurance companies involved. While this means that they have “done their jobs,” it often results in some potential factors in an accident being overlooked.
All-terrain vehicle accidents
Many all-terrain vehicle accidents are due to mistakes made by the vehicle operator such as driving too fast for conditions or making sharp, abrupt turns and being thrown from their vehicle. In our experience, law enforcement investigations fail to consider other factors that may have led to an accidental injury such as mechanical defects, unsafe vehicle design, or improperly marked vehicle trails.
As with all-terrain vehicle accidents, many motorcycle accidents are caused by the motorcycle operator. However, mechanical defects and tire failure can easily be overlooked by an inexperienced accident investigator. Another factor that often goes unnoticed is a defect in the operator’s or passenger’s helmet. In such cases it is usually possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer of such defective equipment.
Accidents involving automobiles account for the majority of motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities. In many cases, the initial law enforcement investigation is enough to determine the cause of an automobile accident. There are cases, however, where the immediate cause of an accident is not obvious. In such cases it is frequently necessary to obtain the services of an experienced personal injury law firm to investigate the causes of such accidents.
Many modern automobiles, especially those that are capable of operating in “autonomous” or “self-driving” mode, are equipped with electronic devices that record vehicle operating conditions and then periodically transmit that data back to the vehicle’s manufacturer. If an autonomous vehicle is involved in an accident, such data can be subpoenaed by a personal injury lawyer for use by a court to determine liability in a personal injury lawsuit.
Based on the number of miles driven, accidents involving commercial trucks are less frequent than automobile accidents. Unfortunately, when a commercial truck accident occurs there is frequently a greater amount of property damage and more serious injuries than occur in automobile accidents. As is the case with some later-model automobiles, modern technology can often provide information on the status of a commercial truck in the minutes before an accident took place.
Practically all commercial trucks are now equipped with event recorders that can hold several minute’s worth of data regarding a truck’s speed, brake usage, and position. When used in conjunction with the findings of an on-scene accident investigation, this electronic data can be used to reconstruct an accident with a high degree of accuracy.
In addition to electronic records of vehicle condition, most trucking companies require their drivers to keep “electronic logbooks” where the driver records information such as hours on duty, rest stops, and even the vehicle’s location at various times. This information can also be used by experienced accident investigators and accident reconstructers to determine the exact sequence of events leading up to a commercial trucking accident.
Contacting a motor vehicle accident injury lawyer
Regardless of the type of motor vehicle accident, it is important to remember that the issue of liability (“responsibility”) must be decided by a civil court rather than by the criminal court that hears evidence in alleged violations of a state’s traffic laws. In many cases, a more detailed analysis of the available information related to a motor vehicle accident will uncover evidence of liability that as not apparent in the original accident investigation.
Conducting a comprehensive post-accident investigation requires access to resources that are usually beyond the reach of the typical accident victim. Additionally, the legal issues involved in many accident cases are potentially complex. For these reasons, among others, motor vehicle accident victims should consult a motor vehicle accident injury lawyer with experience in managing both accident reconstruction investigations as well complex personal injury lawsuits. One such lawyer is the motor vehicle accident injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm, a national law practice with offices located across the country.
When you contact our firm, your motor vehicle accident injury case review and first consultation are always free of charge and do not obligate you in any way to hiring our firm as your legal counsel. Should you decide to file a motor vehicle accident lawsuit, and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your lawsuit for trial in exchange for a percentage of the final settlement that we are prepared to win for you.