An independent truck accident investigation is crucial for establishing the cause of a large vehicle accident. Without it, individuals are at the mercy of the information contained within the police report and any investigation conducted by the insurance company. These investigations can often miss critical details that establish causation and fault.
Limits of Police Reports
Police look for evidence of legal violations when they respond to a truck accident. They look for signs of alcohol consumption, speeding, and other violations that contributed to causing the accident. They are looking primarily at whether either driver committed a crime that warrants the filing of charges. The investigations that law enforcement officers carry out are not as thorough or detailed independent investigations. Relying on police reports to establish a civil claim is a risky and dangerous legal strategy.
Police officers and insurance adjusters are not engineers. This means they do not have a thorough understanding of the mechanics of a crash and the damage that results. A forensic engineer can use data and science to explain the moment by moment details of the accident. They can use engineering to show how system failure, vehicle design, and defective parts contributed to causing an accident or caused the specific types of injuries a vehicle occupant or pedestrian suffered.
The Value of the ECM
Police officers review ECM data in about half of all large truck accidents. It is an unforgivable oversight because this tiny computer is a treasure trove of information that can establish critical facts of a personal injury case. The data contained within the ECM can establish the vehicle’s speed, braking force, control settings, seat-belt usage, etc.
Review of this data during an independent investigation can corroborate the evidence gathered within the police report, thus strengthening the individual’s claim. Or, it can counter the theories proposed by the individual’s insurance provider thus disproving their claims or liability and clearing the way for the injured party to receive compensation for their injuries.
Independent Investigation Should Start Immediately
Information goes stale the longer a crash victim waits to pursue an independent investigation. It is advisable to start this investigation as soon as possible following a large truck accident. This helps individuals and their truck accident lawyer explore all causes of the crash and gather the evidence essential for establishing the claim.