The Personal Injury Process in Oklahoma

The Personal Injury Process in Tulsa: Investigating a Case

Putting together evidence to show how an accident occurred

The initial investigation is often the most critical phase of your case. A prompt and thorough investigation is essential to show how the accident happened, who is responsible, and why the accident could have been prevented. In some cases, such as car accidents and other vehicle accidents, the police are the first people to investigate the accident. In many cases, skilled investigators are employed to examine the accident site, extract data from vehicles, speak with witnesses, and conduct other investigations. Some cases require the help of expert investigators, such as fire officials, product safety experts or accident reconstructionists.

At Biby Law Firm, our Tulsa personal injury lawyers work with a network of investigators. As soon as an agreement is reached to handle your claim, our lawyers commonly ask our investigators to go to the accident site where they take notes, photos, and possibly videos of the “lay of the land” depending on what type of case is involved.  If there are any police reports, we read the reports. We usually also speak with the police officers. There are often many other parts of our investigation such as speaking with witnesses, either informally or through the deposition process, and reviewing any relevant documents such as insurance policies, log records, and any evidence to show the defendants knew of a dangerous condition.

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How does an investigator examine the accident site?

At Biby Law Firm, we work with investigators who are skilled at investigating personal injury cases. In many of our cases being able to examine a particular event early on can lead to discovery of evidence that would otherwise be lost. The investigators look for different things depending on the type of accident case. In most vehicle accident cases such as car and truck accidents, the investigators will examine the following items:

  • How many lanes of travel there are each way
  • Where the nearest intersections are
  • The speed limits at the accident site
  • Any tire tracks or other indicators an accident occurred
  • How much traffic there is at the accident site
  • The nearest stop signs and traffic signals
  • The visibility lanes
  • Any road markings
  • Measurement marks or other symbols left on the roadway by investigating authorities
  • Many other physical factors that can be noted or photographed

If the accident happened on the premises of a property owner, the investigator will examine the type of floor, any nearby barriers, any warnings, the slope and level of the floor, any carpet tears or other dangerous conditions, the lighting conditions, and many other factors.

If you or the police report indicate there were any witnesses, the investigators are skilled at gathering information from those individuals. The investigators may canvas nearby areas to determine if anyone nearby may have videos of the relevant events. Investigators may also look for many other signs that indicate how the accident occurred depending on what happened.

What is the investigator looking for when he/she examines the damaged vehicles?

The investigators will also examine any relevant physical evidence. For example, they’ll examine all the vehicles in the accident (ideally before any repairs are made). The type and location of the vehicle damage can indicate how the accident happened. For example, if the damage to your car is confined to the rear bumper of your car, and the damage to the other vehicle is to the front of their car, the damage alone indicates that the other driver rear-ended your car.

Police investigations are different

When car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents occur, the police are called to the scene of the accident. The police will first determine if anyone needs medical help, and whether the vehicles need to be moved so no other accidents occur. They’ll then ask every driver to provide identifying information – usually their licenses, vehicle registration, and insurance information. The officers will then examine the accident site. They normally have forms that help them identify where the accident happened, the layout of the roads, and other conditions.

If the police believe the accident was due to a violation of a traffic law, they may issue a citation. Common violations include driving while intoxicated, texting while driving, speeding, driving through a red traffic signal, failure to yield, improper lane use and other violations.

The investigators employed by our firm conduct their own evaluation of the collision but will also benefit from work done by the police immediately after the wreck occurred. Our investigators will also dive deeper into the case beyond merely determining who is at fault and what citations may be warranted.

What are traffic reconstruction experts?

In most car accident cases, how the accident happened and who is responsible are relatively clear. There are some cases where determining liability enough to convince a jury may require more evidence than the investigators, police, and witnesses can provide.

Accident reconstructionists use engineering principles and data found at the scene and from the involved vehicles to determine how an accident occurred. Oftentimes they will reproduce an event in digital form.

Biby Law Firm work directly with seasoned, respected reconstruction professionals and other expert witnesses who routinely work on personal injury matters.

What other investigations may be necessary?

Other investigations may be required depending on what happened. If a product was defective, such as faulty airbags, unsafe fuel lines, or any product that was subject to a vehicle part or product recall, then we work with product safety experts to examine the product and show that the product was defective.

Depending on how the accident happened, we may also work with fire professionals, building code professionals, architects, and other specialists.

Which documents are reviewed in an investigation into Tulsa personal injury cases?

In many cases, we request to see different types of documents. These documents help us determine who may be liable for your injuries, and what happens if liability is determined in your favor. Some of these documents may include:

  • The liability insurance policies of each defendant
  • First-party insurance policies of our clients
  • Ownership records and leasing records
  • Building code records and permits
  • Any notices or records of prior complaints about dangerous conditions
  • Repair invoices
  • Maintenance agreements
  • Hours of service records
  • Safety inspection records
  • Many other documents depending on how the accident happened

Do you have a personal injury lawyer near me?

Biby Law Firm has two Tulsa offices located at 9810 E. 42nd Street, Suite 211 and 6305 E 120th Ct. Suite K9. If you’re unable to come to our office, we make arrangements to meet you at your home, a healthcare facility, or through a video conference session.

Our lawyers use the investigation process and the discovery process to establish liability. We also work with your doctors and employers to verify and prove all your damages. We then work to settle your case and if that option fails, get your case to trial in a timely fashion.

Contact our experienced Tulsa lawyers now

At Biby Law Firm, we have the experience, the personal injury professional network, and the advocacy skills to help you obtain the strongest result possible. Our personal injury lawyers understand how critical it is to act quickly, thoroughly, and accurately investigate how your accident happened, and what steps the defendants should have taken to protect you or your loved one.

To assert your right to compensation, call our respected Tulsa accident lawyers or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve all of Oklahoma including the communities of Broken Arrow, Bixby, Claremore, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Owasso, Wagoner, Muskogee, and the surrounding areas.