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How Do State Troopers Determine Fault in Car/truck Accidents?

Scott McCullough Jan. 1, 2020

Nobody expects to be involved in a car accident. If it happens to you, the first thing to always do is call the police by dialing 911. Even if it appears that there are no injuries, it’s still critical to call 911 and explain the details surrounding the crash to the operator. From there, the operator and police department will determine what kind of emergency response is necessary.

Calling the police is essential for many reasons. The police report that the officer fills out regarding your accident can be used as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. This investigation is a crucial component for determining fault and liability. The following details the steps that a state trooper will take to determine fault in a car or truck accident:

When a State Trooper Arrives at The Accident Scene

When state troopers or police officers arrive at the scene of an accident, their first concern is ensuring that everyone is safe and out of harm’s way. If vehicles are still in the road after the wreck and facing oncoming traffic, law enforcement will work to remove that hazard. They will either block off that section of the road with cones or redirect traffic, so oncoming traffic can avoid the wreck before getting too close. State troopers might also evaluate the scene and call for backup emergency responders – like firefighters, paramedics, or additional police officers.

State troopers will also document preliminary information surrounding the crash, including the following:

  • Location of the car or truck accident

  • Date and time of the car or truck accident

  • Weather conditions at the time of the crash

  • Road conditions at the time of the crash

  • Which party called the police

  • Number of vehicles involved in the accident

  • Types of vehicles involved in the accident

You’ll be able to access this information on the police report the state trooper creates after your crash. Here’s a closer look at what else will be documented:

What Do State Troopers Document After a Car/truck Accident?

After a state trooper arrives at the scene of your accident and ensures that everyone is safe, he or she will speak to the drivers and witnesses of the crash to gather statements. The officer will take notes of each party’s recounting of the events leading up to and surrounding the collision. The officer might ask further questions to elaborate on details, and he or she will also take note of everyone’s demeanor while giving their statements. The officer will take document their mental and physical state – like their injuries and whether they seem intoxicated or in a state of shock.

Along with personal statements about the crash, the officer will document the conditions of the vehicle. They take note of each vehicle’s path that led to the crash along with the current resting position following the impact.

What Evidence Will State Troopers Protect After an Accident?

Another high priority for the state trooper investigating the accident scene is preserving evidence from the crash. Evidence can be swept up or destroyed if they’re not careful. The state trooper will take note of each vehicle’s damage, then quickly document surrounding proof that can be meddled with or destroyed. That includes skid marks on the road or puddles of fluid that might be gasoline or other leaking liquids.

They will also document the position of the vehicles’ final locations with any traces of metal or plastic debris on the road. It’s evidence that can be destroyed or ruined that a police officer must swiftly document to help determine fault, and can include the following:

  • The car or truck turn signal position

  • Skid marks on the road

  • Puddles of fluid from either vehicle (i.e., pools of gasoline)

  • Traces of alcohol containers in or around the vehicles

State troopers might have to calculate several variables when determining who is at fault for causing the accident. Law enforcement won’t, however, make in-depth and complex calculations. Instead, they will document the facts surrounding the crash. Then, your personal injury attorney is at liberty to hire a professional accident reconstructionist who can factor in all of the variables on a report that’s permissible as evidence in court.

Call a Trusted Florida Car and Truck Accident Attorney After an Accident

It’s important to know what to do if you’re involved in an auto accident and be aware of what state troopers document when determining fault. Always call a trusted car or truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Don’t let the negligence of another driver cause your prolonged grief or hardship. A police officer’s initial investigation into the crash is not the only evidence accounted for when determining fault. An experienced attorney can perform an independent evaluation and hire experts who can further investigate and testify in court about the evidence gathered at the accident scene.

At the Law Office of McCullough & Leboff, P.A., our Hollywood car accident lawyers are trusted and experienced. They take a personal approach to every case and give the utmost attention to fight for the compensation you deserve. To get started with a free consultation, call their office or fill out a contact form online today.