While it is nearly impossible to pursue an automobile products liability claim without the original defective product, it is equally important to react quickly in securing the evidence present at an incident scene.
While they may not secure the vehicle involved in the incident, investigating law enforcement agencies usually take the necessary steps to record the incident evidence as it existed at the scene at the time of their arrival. In documenting a major incident scene, officers will likely photograph the scene, briefly inspect the subject vehicles, interview eyewitness to the incident, and measure and document all evidence they believe to be associated with the incident.
It is important to remember, however, that law enforcement agencies investigate incident scenes with an eye toward possible criminal violations, not toward civil lawsuit. Also law enforcement officials are limited in their training and in resources available to complete a through evaluation of an incident scene, Thus, it is important to pay an immediate visit to the incident scene to document evidence for automobile products liability lawsuits. Oftentimes, items such as tire treads, glass deposits, side mirrors, luggage racks, tail lamp covers, and even items thrown from inside a vehicle may be present for a period of time after an incident. Knowledge of the exact location of this type of evidence can be a tremendous aid to an accident reconstructionist in re-creating an incident sequence.
Although adjusters sometimes understand the importance of securing a vehicle, insurance companies rarely do anything to preserve the evidence left behind at an incident scene. Importunely, “first response” teams funded by the automakers and component part manufacturers do not run a blinded eye to the importance of incident scene evidence. Nor do others interested in your potential case. Further, weather and elements can work against the discovery of evidence that may be crucial to the reconstruction of an incident. As stated earlier, regardless of the reason, it is not unheard of for remnants from an incident scene to disappear from roadways before a through evaluation at the attorney’s convenience can occur. Thus, an immediate scene inspection is mandatory.
Depending on the facts and circumstances of each particular incident, it is often a good idea to have an accident recontructionist personally visit the scene immediately after an incident. This allows the expert himself/herself to locate, document, and gather the evidence he or she feels is of particular importance of the reconstruction of the incident sequence.