How Does a Police Officer Investigate a Car Crash?
Once an accident occurs, it is essential to call for rescue, such as 911, so emergency responders will be able to respond to the scene quickly.
A police officer should be available no matter how fatal or not the incident, as they need to investigate to determine the cause of the accident and liability, which is essential for an insurance claim or lawsuit. Below are the steps on how the police investigate a car crash accident:
- Arriving at the scene
Upon arrival, the police officer will secure the safety at the crash scene and ensure that they are moved in a safe area for protection and away from the traffic. In some instances, they will need additional help from other police, paramedics, firefighters, or utility workers to assist them. Then they will begin the investigation by gathering some necessary information from the persons involved. It is required to know;
- The location of the accident
- Weather and road conditions
- Time and date of the crash
- The time the police were notified
- Who and how they called the police
- Number of vehicles involved
- Type of cars in the accident
Once this information gathered, the police officer will conduct further investigation on the accident.
- Gathering driver & witness statements
When they ensure everyone’s safety, the police officer will conduct interviews from the driver, passenger, and witness to get their statement on the accident. They will look carefully for each report of what they have witnessed and get more detailed information, which will be useful for the ongoing investigation. The officer will also observe the physical and mental state of the individual to see if there are any signs of shock or intoxication.
- Documenting vehicle’s conditions, paths, and final resting position
After gathering the information needed, the officer will inspect the affected vehicles to check for the damage caused by the accident. Any trace of scratch in the body, flat or blown tire, broken glass and even the tire marks on the road to measure or determine the distance of collision. Checking on the traffic violation is also considered as this might be one of the reasons for the accident.
- Protecting vulnerable evidence
The police officer should protect the evidence that can be easily damaged or destroyed. It is necessary to identify which item is vulnerable and fragile so to preserve correctly.
CONTACT AN OHIO CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY AFTER A CRASH