The Importance of a Post-Accident Investigation

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Q: How are the cause of an accident and the basis of a lawsuit determined?

When is an accident just an accident and when is it somebody’s fault?

Whether the victim of an automobile accident has grounds for a personal injury action (or whether his surviving family has grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit) rests on the post-accident investigation report findings.

That’s why it is critical for those involved in an accident to seek the legal advice of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident, ideally right from the scene or the hospital.

Not only can having an attorney by your side prevent you from making any improper statements to the authorities or insurance companies, but an attorney can conduct their own investigation, speak to witnesses, and preserve evidence that might strengthen your claim. In addition, an attorney can evaluate the evidence to determine whether you have grounds for a lawsuit and what the properly value your claim should be, taking your medical records and injuries into account. An experienced personal injury attorney can also properly evaluate any insurance company settlement offer and can often negotiate a higher figure on your behalf. They fight for your rights and to maximize your financial recovery from the first meeting through trial if necessary.

It is not always obvious at the time of an accident who if anybody is at fault.

Take for example the recent truck accident the claimed the life of a Chula Vista man who was killed when trying to stop a runaway pick-up truck is it rolled down a steep hill in a mobile homes community.

The man was reportedly helping a friend with a broken truck when the truck–in neutral and not running–began rolling. The man apparently managed to “get his hands on the wheel to steer it” so it wouldn’t hit anyone or anything, but he couldn’t stop it. He was reportedly forcefully thrown from the truck when it slammed into a concrete culvert and died from the impact.

Sometimes fault and liability and very easy to determine and other times an accident is just an unfortunate accident. An experienced attorney knows the difference.

In the case at hand, how, why, and by whom was the vehicle put in neutral on a steep hill is a key determination. If someone other than the victim negligently, recklessly, or intentionally acted or failed to act in a way that caused the victim’s death some of the victim’s surviving close relatives may have a claim for wrongful death.

In addition, accidents may be caused by defective products and or recalled auto parts or systems in which case a third-party– such as an automobile manufacturer– may be liable for the victim’s injuries or death. A personal injury attorney knows all avenues that should be explored in a post-accident investigation in order to determine if a valid lawsuit exists and against which parties.

If you or a loved one has been injured or a loved one has been killed in a car accident or any accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at J&Y Law Firm can help. Call us today at 888-806 6722 for a free consultation. Our attorneys are accessible 24/7 and can even meet you in the hospital or your home if needed. With 21 offices throughout the state including our headquarters in Los Angeles, experienced legal help is never far away. We represent clients throughout California as well as those injured while visiting California.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.