The few moments following a car accident can be extremely stressful and overwhelming, especially if there are injuries or deaths involved. Even minor fender benders can place a significant amount of pressure on Tennessee motorists who may have to file accident claims with their insurance company.
While some motorists may believe that they can handle a car accident on their own, it is extremely important to call law enforcement and let them perform a full car accident investigation. The information from the investigation may prove vital when motorists are filing insurance claims or discussing the accident with an attorney.
Evidence at the scene and vehicle evidence
Law enforcement officers are trained in the correct way to identify and collect evidence. Crashforensics.com states that law enforcement will look at evidence at the site of the accident such as skid marks, gouge marks, point of impact, scrub marks and final resting position. Skid marks could indicate to law enforcement that the driver of that vehicle was speeding, following the other vehicle too closely or was distracted. The point of impact helps officers reconstruct the events that led up to the accident.
In some cases, law enforcement will conduct a car accident reconstruction to determine exactly what happened during the collision. As part of the reconstruction, lights, steering, tires, suspension, brakes and other key components of the vehicle’s mechanical structure are checked to determine if an equipment malfunction may have been the cause of the accident. Not only is the vehicle that was involved in the crash inspected, but the driver is also evaluated to ensure they are in full compliance with the law.
Witness statements are extremely valuable in a law enforcement investigation, as they can be used to corroborate the evidence collected at the scene. For example, witnesses who saw a driver texting or speeding could be used along with skid marks found at the accident site to show that the driver was indeed at fault.
Hit-and-run accidents and uninsured motorists
Motorists who are involved in a car accident where the negligent party is uninsured will need a report from law enforcement in order to file an uninsured motorist claim. When a hit-and-run accident occurs, the perpetrator is often left unidentified, which can make it extremely difficult to receive compensation for any injuries or property damage that occurs. However, an accident report can increase an accident victim’s chances of receiving the compensation he or she needs and deserves.
More than 386,000 Tennessee motorists were involved in motor vehicle accidents in 2013, according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Over 60,000 of those accidents involved physical injuries and 977 resulted in fatalities. If a car accident is caused by driver distraction, speeding or erratic behavior, accident victims are better able to prove negligence and seek compensation in a case that has been evaluated by law enforcement.