Putting the pieces of an accident together can be an overwhelming challenge, especially when the accident is more complicated than a fender-bender. People don't tell the truth; they embellish; they leave the scene of an accident or are killed in the crash and cannot give their side of the story.
In these situations, finding concrete answers to what happened and who is to blame can be very difficult. It is not impossible, though. There are ways to put the pieces of an accident together, even if you don't have all those pieces to begin with.
After an accident, the following sources can provide valuable insight and information.
- Accident reconstructions - A reconstruction professional works backward from the crash scene and uses mathematical formulas and available evidence to reconstruct the accident to reveal what happened.
- Photographs - They say that a picture paints a thousand words, and that can be true after an accident. Photographs of the crash scene, the damage to the vehicle and the road conditions can provide critical details that people may not agree on or remember.
- Black boxes - Most cars have event data recorders, or so-called black boxes. As this article from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discusses, these devices store vast amounts of information, like whether a person was wearing a seat belt and whether a driver applied the brakes before an accident.
- Cellphone records - Even though Illinois laws prohibit using a handheld phone while driving, people still do it. In the event of a crash, an examination of a person's phone records could reveal that he or she was using their phone at the time.
- Video recordings - Video recordings are more common than ever. Dashboard cameras, cellphone videos, nearby surveillance cameras can all provide valuable accounts of what happened in a crash, so it is important to seek them out after an accident.
Investigating data from these sources can provide victims and their families with the answers they need after a serious car accident. Understand, though, that you do not have to track down this information yourself. You can consult an attorney who has the experience, resources and knowledge to conduct a thorough investigation, allowing you to stay focused on recovering.