Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

determination of the cause of the crash. This report is often available within a couple of weeks of the crash. The law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the crash will conduct the investigation. The law enforcement agency will identify and secure all possible evidence to determine what factors contributed to the crash event, which persons may be ultimately responsible for the crash, and which laws, if any, have been violated. At the crash scene, medical personnel are expected to remove injured people as soon as possible to provide the best medical attention to them. Removal of deceased crash victims from the scene, however, doesn’t carry the same priority. Often, those who have died remain at the scene for investigative purposes. The use of seatbelts and child restraints must be documented as well as the placement of bodies within the vehicle and at final rest. Determining who was in control of the vehicle is crucial. This process may take hours or even days, if testing is needed, which is of little comfort to the victims’ families, but may be critical in the prosecution of offenders. Due to the need to secure all possible evidence to determine whether a crime has been committed, law enforcement officials may not allow family members the opportunity to be with their loved ones at the crash scene. The majority of law enforcement crash investigators will capture video and photo evidence of the crash scene for Not being able to see your loved one after a crash may be painful.

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