The following is a typical administrative and investigative checklist designed to address issues in traffic accident litigation:
The initial telephone contact with the potential client will ensure that there are no conflicts of interest between Mr. Painter and involved parties, and to discuss the basic facts of the case.
If the collision occurred recently, then an immediate trip to the accident scene may be required to ensure that all available roadway evidence is properly marked and documented before it completely fades from view. Immediate mapping and measuring of the scene may be conducted, or plans may be made to return under more hospitable traffic conditions and with additional information.
Following the site exam, a “first look” at involved vehicles at nearby tow yards will generally involve non-destructive examinations and photographs as permitted. Efforts should be made to preserve the vehicles through an evidentiary hold, with a more detailed documentation of vehicle condition scheduled at a later time, perhaps in concert with other experts.
Written permission is required to download vehicle airbag control modules and other sources of recorded data.
Don’t forget to contact police officials in an effort to secure vehicle dash-cam videos, and file an open records request. Texas DPS video tapes are often recycled within 90 days of the investigation.
If the collision occurred months prior, then the site and vehicle examinations may be delayed until all police photos and other sources documenting roadway and vehicle evidence can be assessed. Counsel should immediately attempt to locate involved vehicles, or otherwise determine their disposition. Mr. Painter will ask to examine all relevant sources of documentary evidence, to include police reports and evidence, other investigative sources, and depositions and statements. Upon request, Mr. Painter may forward a list of relevant documents.
Once the evidence collection phase is complete, then the reconstruction of the collision can begin. The interpretation and analysis of physical evidence (from the roadway and the vehicles) is the primary process in the discipline of traffic accident reconstruction. However, limitations to the physical evidence will often require a consideration of driver and witness testimony. The reliability of driver and witness testimony may be assessed by direct comparison to the physics model of the collision. If consistent, then testimony may be utilized in further defining the motion of vehicles, and the actions of the drivers
A Preliminary Report will then be furnished upon request. At least thirty (30) days notice is requested.