Cross & Smith LLC

Damages to Vehicles As Evidence In Auto Accident Cases

Auto accident investigations should include a detailed and complete inspection of vehicles involved in the accident. Our auto accident attorneys at Cross & Smith have investigated and handled many auto accident cases in Tuscaloosa and throughout Alabama. We have the knowledge and experience to investigate your car accident as well.

The post-collision inspection of vehicles involved in the wreck should document and record measurements of damaged areas. Photographs of the vehicles should be taken in every case where the type and extent of damages are important issues in the case.

In addition to inspection and measurement of the damaged areas of the vehicles, major parts of the vehicle that often play a part in auto accidents should be closely inspected as well. The wheels, doors, fenders, engine, hood and trunk should be examined. The condition of wheels and tires should be checked for any excessive wear and tear as well as damage sustained as a result of the car wreck. The steering system should be examined and tested to determine whether it locks or spins. The braking system should also be examined and tested. The cargo space, whether located in the passenger’s compartment or inside a closed trunk area, should be checked for the dimension and weight of any items transported at the time of the accident. Restraint systems should be examined to determine condition, operation and whether any failure occurred.

The types and location of damages to the vehicles are important in determining the cause of the accident and the cause of particular injuries. Contact damage is any damage to the vehicle caused by direct contact with some object that is not part of the vehicle. Frontal damage caused by a head on collision is a common example of contact damage. Induced damage is any damage to any part of the vehicle caused by another part of the same vehicle or by forces of the collision. Damage to the steering column caused by the front end being pushed back towards the passenger’s compartment in a head on collision is an example of induced damage. The force and shock from sudden and rapid deceleration can cause other parts of the vehicle, seats, for instance, to break away from a secure position.

Evidence of the cause of damage to vehicles involved in an accident is often established by imprints and rub-off found on the vehicle after the collision happens. Imprints are dents or pressed areas in parts of the vehicle that were created by a forceful impact with a stronger object and leaves clearly defined shapes. Imprints establish the position of one vehicle with another during a crash. For example, a side impact collision in which the front bumper of a speeding vehicle crashes into the side of a stopped vehicle leaving an imprint that is clearly defined. Rub-off results from parts of another object “rubbing off” on a vehicle involved in an accident and leaving evidence on the affected vehicle. Rub-off evidence can be paint, rubber from tires, blood, tree bark, and many other types of things from the other vehicle or objects involved in the collision. This evidence is particularly helpful in the investigation of multiple vehicle collisions where the vehicles are scattered at the post-collision scene. Rub-off evidence can establish which vehicles collided and where they collided during the collision.

An important part of auto accident investigation is to determine where the principal force was applied to the vehicle during the crash event and the direction from which the force was delivered. This can be critical in ascertaining the relationship between involved vehicles at the point of maximum engagement when the forces between them were at a peak point. However, further investigation of any previous or subsequent impacts with other objects that occurred either before or after maximum engagement is also equally important.

We have found that an early investigation of the damage to vehicles involved in a car wreck provides immeasurable assistance in obtaining the maximum recovery for our clients. If you, or someone close to you, have been involved in an auto accident, we ask that you contact our skilled and experienced auto accident lawyers. At Cross & Smith, we have handled numerous auto accident cases in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. If you would like to consult with us, please contact us online or call our office at (877) 791-0618 for a free confidential consultation.

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