When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, determining who is at fault may sometimes be a very contentious subject. Automobile accident law has many complexities. There are specific scenarios where it is not so clear cut, on the surface, as to who is responsible for causing the accident. This can have significant implications in determining your entitlement to compensation for any injuries you sustained due to the accident. For this reason, depending on the situation, your lawyer may request that investigation be done by various experts to enable an objective analysis of the likely course of events.
Automobile Accident Law – Private Investigators
Where liability is in issue, your lawyer may retain the services of a private investigator. The role of the private investigator can be to track down and interview potential witnesses and generate a report for your lawyer. The report may reveal any number of outcomes that may not have otherwise been considered, it gives but a brief glimpse into the view of individuals who had eyes on the accident. The investigation results may be relied on by an accident reconstruction expert and may inform the line of questions your lawyer will ask the defendant should that be required.
Automobile Accident Law – Engineering Reports
In severe situations, your lawyer may hire an engineer to assist in reconstructing the accident. The engineer will look at all the evidence available. This may include residual markings left on the road from skids, pieces of vehicles that have fallen off during impact, police records, and damage locations on the respective vehicles.
Depending on the vehicles involved, the engineer will also look into something called “EDR data” or event data recorder data. An EDR is effectively the equivalent of a black box in an airplane, it records data from the vehicle in the moments before significant impact. This can track information such as the speed at the point of impact and whether the other party braked. Needless to say, this can be very useful as the engineer runs calculations to identify the trajectory of vehicles, the speeds at which impact happens, and the most likely course of events in the circumstances.
Where the accident is particularly contentious, it is generally a good idea to get an injury lawyer involved as soon as possible, this will enable investigations to begin quickly. In the context of obtaining an engineering report, this may be particularly important, given that otherwise, one or both of the vehicles may be destroyed, together with any pertinent information that can be lifted from the wreckage or EDR.
Automobile Accident Law – Defendant Questioning
When there is a dispute about who is at fault for the accident, in most cases, the defendant will be questioned in addition to the plaintiff injury victim. Questioning the defendant is key to obtaining admissions that can significantly simplify the issue of responsibility for the accident. It is key that you have a lawyer versed in questioning who knows the ins and outs of the process and how to elicit information from parties who may be far from forthcoming.
Sometimes defendants may lie, and it is the injury lawyer’s job to try to catch them in a contradiction and then call into question the defendant’s credibility on any matter of importance. This can be particularly important in situations without witnesses and with stubborn defendants; in a he-said-she-said situation, credibility needs to be examined to determine who is at fault for an accident. If a defendant lies under oath, that can significantly affect the degree to which other evidence they provide is considered reliable.
James H. Brown and Associates Understand Automobile Accident Law
As you can see, there are several ways to attempt to pin down fault for an accident where there is a contentious dispute as to what has happened. The injury lawyers at James H. Brown & Associates are well equipped to handle any issues that may arise regarding who is responsible for an accident. Our team has numerous well-established relationships with professionals who assist with investigating personal injury cases. Our lawyers are also ready to cut through any mistruths that may be perpetuated by the defendant and extract the valuable information needed to get on with your life with the compensation you deserve.
If you have been involved in an accident and there is confusion over who bares responsibility for the accident, call us today! Our precedent-setting lawyers want to hear from you and are ready to answer any questions you may have in a free consultation! Call 780-428-0088.