Every day, for the past six years, there has been a traffic death in California*. The last day without a traffic fatality in California was September 12, 2000*. Personal injury law firms are likewise called upon daily to assist, counsel and guide the surviving family members and to seek appropriate compensation, from those legally responsible.
It is in the best interest of the family of a deceased accident victim to immediately seek a consultation with a lawyer that has a wealth of experience in pursing “wrongful death” traffic accident cases. The best law firms will provide a free, immediate and comprehensive consultation. The consultation many times will be followed by an immediate investigation.
Many times a quick, professional investigation of the accident is crucial to the ultimate outcome of a case. Evidence is best collected immediately. Professional investigation photographs and measurements of the scene are mandatory. A malfunctioning, contributing factor, signal light system at an intersection needs immediate documentation and investigation before it is repaired. Likewise, if the accident occurred at a place where the scene is likely to be changed in a short period of time, like a construction zone or were there was damage to the roadway, barriers, signs, guardrails and etc., an immediate professional investigation may be the only way to preserve and/or document necessary evidence.
Witnesses statements are best secured while the accident circumstances are fresh in the mind of the witnesses. Witnesses some times move away and later can not be found or were only passing through at the time of the accident.. The police investigators often do not have the time and sometimes the concern, to do as thorough a job of interviewing witnesses and documenting their statements as a law firm’s private investigator would.
Protecting physical evidence is crucial as well. A great deal of “accident reconstruction” is dependent upon data derived from a thorough, professional inspection of the involved accident vehicles. This is especially true if there is a concern about a auto defect or a system failure (seat belt, air bag, roof crush, tire blow out, roll-over, seat back failure and so on). In an “auto defect” case, properly preserving the defective automobile is critical.
Buckle up, drive safely and I hope you never need us.
*Data from the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, SWITRS and can be found at http://www.chp.ca.gov/switrs/pdf/2004-quick.pdf).