Accident Scene Investigation – The “At-Scene” Process

Accident scene investigation is sometimes also referred to as the “at-scene” process.  The “at-scene” process can include evidence that is gathered by law enforcement, other first responders such as fire or ambulance personnel, and even “first response” teams hired by trucking companies or insurance carriers.

The at-scene process typically includes photographing the roadway, the vehicles, and all of the physical evidence. Law enforcement photos are usually the first images of the scene in an unaltered state, so their value cannot be overstated. Other sources of contemporary photographs may include fire departments, wrecker / towing services, local media, and the involved parties themselves.

Trucking Company Accident Kits

Many trucking companies issue an accident kit, including a camera, to their drivers. Cell phones may be a source for photos or video. The car accident reconstructionist will also generate photographs of the scene, evidence, and vehicles. These are taken with the intent of recording the physical evidence for analysis, as well as for demonstrative purposes while explaining the car accident to potential jurors.

Photographs alone rarely give the accident reconstructionist a full understanding of the accident site.  A personal site inspection is really the best way to get a proper appreciation for the terrain, traffic patterns, and the “feel” of the area. This information can include time of day variations in the traffic pattern or traffic control devices, seasonal changes in traffic, and weather-related issues with the roadway.

Vehicle Evaluation and Video Taken

An at-scene investigation will also include a preliminary evaluation of the condition of the vehicles involved in the car accident. This preliminary evaluation may include tires, lamps, steering system, brakes, and occupant safety systems. A law enforcement officer has a distinct advantage at this point, as he or she can conduct the examination before any vehicle occupants are moved or the towing and recovery process further damages the vehicles.

The use of in-car video cameras as a police interview recording media is growing in popularity. We therefore seek to obtain copies of the in-car video from any officer who was at an accident scene.  Although this video may not have been consciously taken, in many instances this video can be helpful in recording statements of witnesses, documenting weather conditions, and showing vehicle placement.

For a Free Private Consultation About Your Case, Call Our Firm

We represent clients on a contingency fee basis (no fees to us unless we recover for you).  With more than twenty years as a lawyer, I will work hard to prove each and every aspect of your case.

Please consider calling me at your earliest convenience, as it is important to begin the process of securing valuable evidence before the same is destroyed or lost, including any video evidence that may be available.

16020 Swingley Ridge Rd., Suite 340
St. Louis, MO 63017

Contact Us 888.586.7041

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