If you are interested in how to file a car accident lawsuit in Maryland, it is crucial to understand precisely what occurred. This information is essential for insurance companies, the other drivers involved, and you, if you were injured because of another driver’s negligent conduct. Sometimes it is not difficult to figure out how an accident happened, for instance, a simple rear-end collision. However, this is not the case with all accidents. Depending on the severity of the accident, the number of cars involved, and the road conditions, determining how the events unfolded is a challenging investigative puzzle. Our Maryland car accident attorneys sometimes employ investigators to recreate the accident.
The time it takes to understand what occurred depends on the accident. This process could take days, weeks, or even months. Below, our experienced Maryland car accident lawyer discusses how a car accident investigation works.
Who Investigates a Maryland Car Accident?
Two groups typically investigate car accidents in Maryland. the police will usually conduct an initial investigation when they arrive at the scene of the accident. When the police arrive, they will review the damaged vehicles and begin taking statements from drivers involved in the accident and any witnesses who saw what occurred. Usually, they are looking for some criminal activity, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or excessive speeding.
Once they have completed their investigation, a police report is drafted. the report will include information regarding the accident and the investigating officer’s findings, such as:
- The location of the accident
- The time and date the accident occurred
- Identifying information for the drivers involved in the crash and any witnesses
- A detailed list of the vehicle damage
- Weather and roadway conditions
- There is usually a preliminary finding of fault (which is not legally binding)
- List of any citations or tickets that were issued
- Statements from all parties involved in the accident
- A diagram of the accident and location
Independent investigators are hired after the fact. Insurance companies and the plaintiff’s Maryland personal injury attorneys will often employ an accident investigator to expand on the police report and to provide information that might have been missed or misconstrued. Unlike the police who are focused on criminal activity, the independent investigators are looking to determine fault and negligence.
How Long it Takes to Investigate the Scene of a Car Accident in Maryland
The scene of a Maryland accident provides investigators some evidence of what occurred. However, as they are usually not hired until weeks or months after the accident, much of the primary evidence has been removed or altered. This is where photographs of the scene can prove to be a vital tool in piecing together what occurred. An investigator will work to put all the vehicles and road conditions back into place. Knowing the time of day and weather conditions is essential in determining how a questionable accident happened.
By taking detailed measurements and looking for damage in the roadway or the surrounding ground, an investigator will develop a sketch of the events leading up to, and through, the collision.
The testimony of eyewitnesses and statements by the various drivers are also taken into consideration when reviewing the accident site. Because memories often conflict, the investigator will look to find corroborating evidence at the scene of the accident that might give more weight to one account over another.
Again, because of the time it takes to develop a case, much of the scene could have changed, sometimes quite drastically. After an accident, there are several things you can do, including taking extensive photographs of the vehicles involved and the surrounding road conditions that will help our investigators determine who should be held accountable for the accident.
Other Evidence Necessary to Investigate a Maryland Car Crash
After thoroughly examining the scene of the accident, an investigator usually turns their attention to the cars involved. the damage sustained will help determine the speed each vehicle was traveling, the angle of the collision, and the exact point of impact. Additionally, the damage to the cars will either support or contradict witness statements. A thorough examination of the vehicles should also reveal if any mechanical defects could have contributed to the accident.
In addition to the physical evidence and statements of witnesses and drivers, there is other information that could help determine how an accident occurred. Cellphone records from the people involved in the accident could establish that a driver was either engaged in a phone call or texting when the accident happened. Our personal injury lawyers in Baltimore can help you through this process.
Reconstructing a Maryland Car Accident for an Investigation
After inspecting the scene, examining the vehicles, and gathering the statements of the witnesses and drivers, the investigator will reconstruct the accident. Using detailed measurements, physics, mathematics, and the evidence available, the investigator will work to recreate the sequence of events that lead to the accident, including any negligent conduct that contributed to the collision. the time it takes to complete the investigation and recreation depends on the complexity of the accident. If multiple cars are involved, and there are conflicting statements, the process will take longer.
Call Our Maryland Car Accident Lawsuit for a Free Consultation
Often, it is not difficult to determine how a car accident in Maryland occurred. When an accident involves multiple vehicles, and the collisions are severe, figuring out exactly what happened becomes a challenge. If there is contradictory witness testimony or conflicting drivers’ statements, piecing together what occurred is more complicated. Our Baltimore car accident attorneys have the resources to thoroughly investigate a car crash to determine who was at fault. This process may take days, weeks, or months depending on the severity of the accident. If you were injured in a car crash, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free appointment.