Being involved in an auto accident can be very traumatic. If you have been hit by another vehicle, you may be seeking compensation. When it comes to figuring out what happened, the accident scene is where it all begins. Evidence of fault and other related issues can be obtained during the first few moments after an impact. Read on and learn more.
Why the Scene of the Accident Matters
One of the most pressing concerns after an accident is who caused it. While you and the other driver could very well be most concerned with your wrecked vehicle and your injuries, others are already at work on the accident scene. Initial investigative activities often center around three areas:
- Who caused the accident?
- Was a driver impaired?
- What did eyewitnesses see?
Finding Fault at the Accident Scene
The driver found to be at fault for the accident is often identified quickly. The entire accident case is based on the gathering of information at the scene to determine fault. Once the at-fault party is determined, their insurance is used to pay for the expenses of both parties and anyone else involved in the accident.
In most cases, the responding law enforcement officer is charged with exploring the scene and drawing conclusions about fault based on several factors. They observe, for example, how the vehicles ended up. That can help them learn who hit who. Also, skid marks on the pavement and damage to roadside signs provide clues to the cause of the accident.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that many drivers in accidents are impaired. It's up to the responding law enforcement officers to observe the signs of impairment in a driver. It can be difficult to determine impairment in those who are hurt badly, however. The officer may also look inside the vehicles and locate the presence of drug or alcohol use from a driver. In many cases, the behavior, appearance, and odor of a driver at the scene will present reasonable cause for a blood draw to be ordered at the hospital. If the driver ends up being arrested, it will be noted on the accident report. The presence of an impaired driver can affect fault, but it can also affect things like punitive damages.
Eyewitnesses Tell the Tale
When it comes to determining how the accident occurred, law enforcement may rely on those who saw it happen. Other drivers, pedestrians, and those in nearby businesses — these are all good eyewitnesses. However, the passengers in the involved vehicles are not such good eyewitnesses because they may provide biased statements.
You need a personal injury lawyer to help you deal with the above issues and more. Speak to a lawyer today so that you can be compensated for the accident.