The role of accident investigations
When an accident takes place and someone is hurt, it is right and proper that some kind of investigation takes place to prevent future accidents and injuries. Sometimes these accident investigations are very informal, but in some cases more serious accident investigations take place. Generally, formal accident investigations take place whenever a criminal act may have taken place. Here is a brief look at some examples of those types of circumstances.
Road traffic accidents
Following a road traffic collision, the police and specialist teams will often conduct accident investigations. The scene of an accident can reveal incredible detail about the circumstances and causes of an accident, including road and weather conditions, the speed and direction of the vehicles involved and the braking and steering action that took place in sequence. Piecing together this evidence can help the police determine whether there is a case to answer for dangerous driving or another driving offence. Where it is appropriate, criminal charges can be brought, which can help to bring justice to the injured parties and their families, as well as making the roads safer for other drivers.
Health and Safety accident investigations
Where an accident indicates that a break of Health and Safety has occurred, the Health and Safety Executive may investigate. The accidents that fall into this category are often workplace or industrial accidents. Occasionally, Health and Safety accident investigations can include the sale of unsafe items, dangerous goods and items that breach trading standards regulations. Health and Safety accident investigations can be very serious news for a business. In the event of an accident at work, the HSE has the power to investigate and impose legal action and heavy fines on a business, which could prove catastrophic in terms of the viability of a company. A company director can be prosecuted and jailed for a very serious breach of Health and Safety law.
Assault, animal attack and injury resulting from criminal violence
Where a criminal assault has taken place, the police will investigate and prosecute the assailant in line with UK law. Similarly, any animal attack that results in human injury can lead to the destruction of the animal and legal action being taken against the owner. Prosecution is particularly likely if a banned breed of dog is behind the attack. Any criminal activity that causes injury to members of the public or witnesses will also result in accident investigations and prosecutions.
Does an accident investigation help a compensation claim?
The scenarios above all describe criminal investigations, but a person can be prosecuted through both criminal proceedings and civil proceedings. A compensation claim is a civil court proceeding, but while it will be separate from the criminal prosecution, the facts uncovered through the criminal investigation are likely to strengthen a claim for compensation. Your compensation claim lawyer will look at all of the evidence available when they put your case together, including the content of any police reports that are available. If you would like to talk further about your circumstances and your entitlement to compensation, simply call our helpline on 0800 689 0500 now.