Accident investigations

accident investigations

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Fire Accident Scene Investigation

A fire accident scene investigation begins with the fire department. The fire department will attempt to rescue victims and extinguish the fire. Personnel will secure the location and attempt to protect adjacent areas from collateral damage. The next phase aims to discover the origin and cause of the fire. The investigator photographs, diagrams and examines the scene. The person who first discovered the fire and the participating fire personnel are interviewed. Physical evidence may be collected for further examination. A report may be drafted about the investigator’s conclusions.

If arson is suspected--meaning the fire was intentionally set--additional investigators are called to the scene to determine whether or not a crime has been committed. Such an investigation entails inspecting physical evidence and ascertaining the nature of the incineration.

After the authorities complete the fire accident scene investigation, the insurance company will also perform its own investigation. An adjuster is assigned to assess the fire damage, take photographs and prepare an estimate of repairs.

Auto Accident Scene Investigation

An auto accident scene investigation begins with the police. The responding police officer determines if any of the victims needs medical attention. If yes, an ambulance is dispatched. If circumstances determine that fire personnel may be needed, they are called in. If any of the vehicles are rendered inoperable, tow trucks are requested. The scene is essentially cleared.

The police officer gathers evidence to determine fault for the accident. Evidence includes interviewing drivers and witnesses, factoring in traffic control devices and gauging weather conditions. The officer drafts a report and sometimes includes a diagram of how the accident occurred.

An auto accident scene investigation may include an accident reconstruction if liability is in dispute. An investigator diagrams and photographs the auto accident scene and

evaluates several factors, including points of impact to the vehicles, skid marks, roadway conditions and witness statements.

Slip and Fall Accident Scene Investigation

If a patron slips and falls, the slip and fall accident scene investigation usually begins with one of the employees of the establishment. The store employee or manager asks the victim if medical attention is needed. If yes, an ambulance is called. The next step is determining how the slip and fall occurred. Usually, an incident report is completed.

Once the liability insurance company is placed on notice of the claim, the slip and fall accident scene investigation is assigned to an insurance company adjuster, who will interview the victim and ask a series of questions. What kind of fall occurred? Was there a defect in the ground or flooring? Was there a hazardous condition? How long were these conditions exposed? Photographs of the scene may be taken, and available witnesses, including the store employee or manager, are interviewed. If a surveillance camera was in operation, the tape is collected and viewed. Sometimes an expert will be needed to evaluate the ground surface, for example, the slip-resistance of a floor and the nature of the floor finishes and chemicals.

Collapsed Roof Accident Scene Investigation

If a roof collapses on a commercial building, the accident scene investigation usually begins with the owner. If there is anybody trapped inside, rescue personnel will be called to aid the victims. The owner will then contact the insurance company. The insurance company will assign an adjuster to inspect the scene. The adjuster takes photographs and drafts an estimate of repairs. Often, a structural engineer will inspect the damage to determine the cause of the accident. The structure is examined via engineering techniques. Once the investigation is complete, the debris is removed.

Water Damage Accident Scene Investigation


Category: Accident

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