Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

although this does not diminish their grief about what happened to them or their loved ones. Others feel it would have been better for the offender to be held accountable and face the criminal justice system. Some victims/survivors may feel sorrow or pity for their offender and their family, considering the loss of a human life in a preventable, tragic situation. Determining Fault And yet, in other crash situations, it may be hard to determine who was at fault for the crash itself. It’s possible that the sober person may have caused the crash by pulling out in front of a driver that, although substance impaired, didn’t actually cause the crash. Their impairment may not have been the primary cause of the collision. Sometimes, when it is too difficult to determine who was at fault, charges may not be brought for the crash itself. The Crash Investigation The Traffic Crash Report, or Accident Report as it is sometimes called, is prepared by the law enforcement agency that investigates the crash. This is usually the Municipal or City Police Department if the crash occurred within the city limits. The County Sheriff’s Department typically investigates crashes outside of the city limits. The State Highway Patrol (or Troopers or Rangers) investigates crashes on state highways or interstates. The Traffic Crash Report will contain detailed information about the vehicle(s), automobile insurance, personal information on all parties involved, witness contact information, weather and roadway conditions, a detailed description and diagram of the crash event, and


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