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How is a typical car accident investigation conducted?
Some car wrecks are pretty straightforward, such as: rear-end collisions, one vehicle running a red light, a car failing to yield the right-of-way, or perhaps the other driver was drunk behind the wheel.
In recent years, car accident attorneys are discovering that distracted drivers are causing a larger percentage of car crashes. People who use their cell phones while behind the wheel do not have their eyes on the roadway. Instead, their eyes are on their phones. For serious accidents with severe injuries, if distracted driving is suspected, an investigation can include obtaining the negligent driver’s cell phone records. Getting the cell phone records is part of the discovery process during an injury lawsuit.
Other information from the scene can be necessary in some cases. Our Houston car accident attorneys are finding that security cameras capture many car crashes that otherwise would be in dispute. Likewise, dash cams are becoming increasingly prominent, particularly with commercial vehicles like 18-wheelers.
An investigation of an automobile accident can include the following:
- Documenting the crash site. For appropriate cases, we will send an accident investigator to work with our personal injury lawyers to obtain information regarding the scene of the accident. Site inspections can include photographing or measuring skid marks, debris in the roadway, and other crucial, relevant evidence
- Determining whether the crash was captured on security video. We can look for video footage from the city of Houston or local Houston businesses
- Conducting recorded interviews with witnesses to the collision when appropriate.
- Identifying Witnesses. People often rely upon the police officer to document the names addresses and observations of any witnesses to a car accident. However, in practice, this occurs much less frequently than one would suspect and usually only happens when concerning a wrongful death or a severe injury automobile accident. Our accident attorneys will seek to identify witnesses when appropriate.
- Research regarding the negligent driver. We’ll look for any prior criminal convictions, car accidents, and the results of any tickets or citations issued as a result of this accident.
- Determining whether other potential parties may share responsibility for causing the personal injuries or the automobile collision itself.
- Determining whether the other driver was “on the job” at the time of the crash.
One factor that is always a consideration with any personal injury claim is the amount of insurance coverage available to satisfy a personal injury lawsuit judgment. If the other driver was working for a company at the time of the crash and was on the job, they may be covered with a commercial insurance policy. The presence of a business automobile insurance policy means that the policy limits will probably be much higher than the statutory minimum in Texas.
Likewise, if the vehicle was an 18-wheeler or big rig, the minimum coverage requirements ensures much higher liability insurance to cover personal injury damage claims. At Baumgartner Law Firm, we always seek to discover all applicable insurance coverage.
In some cases of catastrophic injury or wrongful death, there may be an evaluation of the vehicles themselves. These evaluations may give rise to a claim against about an automobile manufacturing design defect. Product defects can include things like an airbag not deploying after a frontal impact, a recall of a defective car, or a fuel-fed fire caused by a design defect in the gas tank or gas delivery system.
Identifying potential defendants who may have liability after an accident is a big part of the job of our leading Houston car accident lawyers. Getting the most experienced and successful personal injury attorney is an excellent first step to protecting your financial future after a car accident.
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“I didn’t have a high opinion of attorneys until I met Greg Baumgartner. His sense of ethics and fairness is outstanding. If you need an advocate, someone to protect your rights and fight for you, I would recommend you turn to the Baumgartner Law Firm. You will not find a more honest, authentic group of people who have your best interests at heart.”