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  • Auto Accidents
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What does a car accident investigation include?


According to the Chicago Tribune, a major thoroughfare in Gurnee, Illinois was closed for four hours while law enforcement investigated a multi-car crash that sent six people to the hospital. An investigation of such an accident is complex. Law enforcement’s aim is to construct a report that states, as accurately as possible, how it happened, who or what may have caused it, and why the accident occurred.

Preliminary information

Investigators note pertinent information such as the location of the accident, the time it was called in and the identity of the caller. The report states the weather conditions at the time and the level of visibility. Included as well is the general gravity of the accident, whether multiple vehicles or pedestrians were involved and whether serious injury has occurred. Investigators are interested in discovering whether the crash entails any violation of the law, and if so, securing the evidence to prove it. A Chicago car accident attorney knows that every detail is important when assessing fault in an accident.

At the scene of the crash

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asserts that there are three parts to a vehicle crash investigation: scene inspection, vehicle inspection and victim interviews. The scene may offer extensive evidence of driver negligence or other cause, but some of this evidence is fragile. It is essential for investigators to note, sketch, photograph or otherwise document the following types of debris:

  • Puddles of gasoline
  • Oil spills
  • Accumulations of blood
  • Piles of broken glass

Skid marks are also an essential piece of the scene investigation. They offer extremely useful insight into the origin of the crash, as well as possible vehicle dysfunction. The NHTSA uses information such as skid marks to conduct its own Special Crash Investigations, many of which have led to industry changes in air bags, child safety restraints and more.

Vehicle Inspections

Law enforcement investigators check the vehicles inside and out. Outside, they will note circumstances such as a blown tire, which could contribute to a crash. A Chicago car accident attorney could say that the position of a turn signal lever or the presence of an alcohol container could indicate fault.

Victims and Witnesses

The third component of a car accident investigation is the interviews of the victims and any statements from witnesses. Relevant data for purposes of insurance claims or legal recourse include names, addresses and contact numbers. If you or a loved one have suffered injury in a car accident in Illinois, a Chicago car accident attorney may be able to get you just compensation for your loss or injuries.