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Finding And Preserving Evidence After A Truck Accident Or Car Crash - Part II

This is a continuation of an ongoing blog series we are doing related to the evidence that should be collected following serious traffic crashes. The blog serious illustrates how we find and preserve critical evidence in truck accident and car crash cases including evidence that is overlooked by the police and evidence that other law firms do not even know exists.

Thinking Outside the Box

In any major truck accident or car crash, in addition to the police and emergency medical providers there is an often-overlooked group of people at the scene investigating the crash and speaking to witnesses. Who may that be you ask? The news media. 

When watching the evening news, you will routinely see stories about major truck accidents and deadly car crashes that are occurred in greater Cincinnati. The news will often show a video of the scene of the crash including 10-15 second interviews with a witness and the investigating officer. What you don't see is additional footage and witnesses' interviews that did not make the news broadcast.

At Rittgers and Rittgers, we send preservation letters and records requests to every news agency that covers our clients' truck accidents and car crashes for the complete, unedited video footage of the crash including all the witnesses' statements and interviews that were not aired. This can often lead to important physical evidence and eye witnesses that were previously overlooked by the police and insurance company.

Video footage

The most serious truck accidents and car crashes often occur on the major highways and interstates throughout greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Because of the speeds of the vehicles involved, these truck wrecks and car crashes often result in devastating injuries and deaths. All too often in serious injury and wrongful death cases, the at-fault driver will flee the scene or deny responsibility for the crash. In fact, many truck companies have policies in place instructing their truck drivers not to admit fault and to shift blame to the injury victim.

In severe crashes, the victim can suffer incapacitating injuries and not remember how the crash happened. In greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky many of the most severe truck accidents and car crashes on major highways and interstates are caught on camera. Specifically, the Ohio Department of Transportation has cameras strategically located on I-75, I-71, I-275, I-74, US-27, State Route 4, US-50, SR-126, SR-32 and a handful of other roadways.

Unfortunately, the video footage is only stored for three days after the crash unless the investigating officer pulls the video, which does not usually happen. If you or a loved one are involved in a truck wreck or car crash on a major highway or interstate in greater Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky, call Rittgers & Rittgers immediately so that we can quickly investigate the crash and preserve video of the accident.

AccidentMap.jpg

Social Media

Now days, everyone has social media. In many instances, the parties involved in truck wrecks and car crashes will post about their experiences on social media. They even make live videos from the scene of the crash. In other cases, they will post about what they were doing immediately before a crash, which can lead to evidence on how the crash occurred.

For example, our client was involved in a car accident at an intersection. Both our client and the other driver (at-fault driver) disputed who had the right of way. As a result, no one was cited for the crash and the at-fault driver's insurance refused to pay for our client's injuries. We then researched the at-fault driver on social media. We found a video he had taken and posted on his Facebook page shortly before the crash showing him smoking marijuana. We sent the video as well as other damaging posts from the at-fault driver's social media page to his insurance company who in turn accepted responsibility for the crash.

At Rittgers and Rittgers, we make it a policy to investigate the defendant on social media. Many times, the evidence we uncover can help us determine who was at-fault in a crash and help us obtain valuable evidence we can use to show the at-fault driver's bad conduct at trial or to negotiate a fair settlement.

Rapid Response Team

In serious car crash cases - especially truck accidents - the truck company and their insurance carrier will often deploy a team of investigators and adjusters (known as a rapid response team) to the scene of a crash to take witnesses' statements, photograph the scene, take measurements about the crash and attempt to influence and direct the police department who is investigating the crash. To combat these tactics, Rittgers & Rittgers has its own team of investigators and an accident reconstructionist (who are all former law enforcement agents) who can immediately go to the scene of the crash to preserve crucial evidence and to ensure the crash is properly investigated. 

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