Arizona Car Accident Forensics Guide

August 10, 2023 | By Impact Legal Car Accident Attorneys
Arizona Car Accident Forensics Guide

If you've had an auto accident, you may have experienced what many others have during and after the wreck – intense fear, confusion, frustration, and uncertainty. Sudden, unexpected accidents happen fast. All in the blink of an eye, the event is over, and you're completely shaken. These circumstances may increase uncertainty and disagreements regarding the actual details of the event. However, determining exactly what occurred is crucial for everyone involved, including the insurance companies. 

While some accidents are fairly easy to figure out, some are much more difficult. Parties involved may contest liability, pointing fingers to steer the blame away from themselves. When this happens, car accident investigators must work backward to determine the facts of the accident, reconstructing the event from the evidence available to them. In this article, we'll discuss these types of investigations and how car accident forensics can determine the outcome of your case. 

If you've been in an accident with contested liability and have an unclear sequence of events, or the other party is lying about their part in the crash, call our car accident lawyers in Arizona today at (602) 345-1818, or fill out our convenient online contact form. We'll reach out to you to set up a free initial consultation. 

What Are Car Accident Forensics?

With car accident forensics, an investigator looks for relevant evidence and reconstructs the accident scene based on the evidence available to them in an effort to place fault where it belongs. Accident forensics may include some of the following investigative, scientific measures: 

  1. Analyzing Accident Physics - During a car accident, the exchange of momentum and kinetic energy happens, which can tell investigators a lot about the most likely scenarios of the wreck. 
  2. Time and Distance Determinations - Investigators will calculate time and distance data to determine if and when the parties hit their brakes. This tells them about driver reaction time, which can reveal distracted driving. 
  3. Reviewing Physical Evidence - Physical evidence in car accident cases may include skid marks on the road and the location of the damage on the vehicles. This can support understanding how fast the parties were driving, if they swerved, and if/when they hit their brakes.
  4. Assessing Photographic Evidence - From real-time photos or videos of the event, investigators may expertly estimate what occurred to cause the accident. 
  5. Obtaining Specific Calculations and Measurements - Once an investigator has reviewed all of the evidence available to them, they'll produce specific, mathematical, and scientific data to reveal the details of an accident and expose liability. 

Other types of evidence an investigator will search for after an accident include:

  • Any puddles of gasoline, oil, or blood
  • Debris from the wreck, including glass, pieces of tire, parts of the car, etc
  • Evidence of drug or alcohol use
  • Private property that may have flown out of the car upon impact
  • Marks on the ground, pavement, or stationary objects

The Importance of Car Accident Forensics in Your Personal Injury Case

Knowing exactly what happened before and during a car accident is important. Determining liability is how insurance companies decide if they should pay a claim and what they should pay. There are three types of people who investigate accident scenes. Insurance adjusters are one type. Adjusters are looking for who is responsible and what damage was caused. They are working for the insurance companies, so they are looking for evidence to support them paying as little out as little as possible to protect their own interests. 

Police officers also might investigate accident scenes to this degree if criminal activity is suspected. Lastly, independent investigators can also be hired. These professionals can be hired independently, and their job is to determine liability and financial responsibility. Having an independent and objective professional conduct an investigation can create a compelling case about what really occurred and caused the accident, depending on how the evidence is collected and calculated. These investigations can be even more telling than eyewitness testimony; witnesses can be unreliable, but numbers and data don't lie. 

Preserving the Forensics After a Car Accident

A lot of vital evidence can be collected at the scene directly following the accident. If you can do so safely, try to collect evidence while you're there to help any case you may have down the road. If you are able to gather the following types of evidence at the scene of the accident:

  • Pictures of the vehicles involved, as well as the surrounding area. This may include damage on the vehicles, skid marks, debris, broken glass, damage to road signs, guardrails, light poles, etc. 
  • Photos of any injuries you sustained in the wreck
  • If the driver appears impaired, consider taking a video if it is safe to do so; it's advisable to be careful approaching an impaired driver. Always use caution in these circumstances. 
  • Obtain necessary information of all parties involved, including how to contact them, names, insurance information, license plates, etc.
  • Collect any information from bystanders who may have witnessed the accident, too. Eyewitness reports may come in handy later.

lawyer will help you gather any available evidence.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Arizona Today

If you've been injured in a car accident, especially if the facts of the wreck are contested, get a car accident lawyer on your side as soon as possible after the collision. They will help you collect the necessary evidence you need to get the compensation you deserve. A lawyer will also negotiate and communicate with insurance companies on your behalf. This can help you avoid getting ridiculously low settlement offers. Need help today? Call our Impact Legal car accident lawyers at (602) 345-1818, or fill out our online form, and we'll reach out to you to set up a free initial consultation.