After an accident, especially one where there have been fatalities or serious injuries, there is often an investigation that takes place. In New Mexico car and truck accidents, the New Mexico State Police will often be the first agency to begin an investigation to determine the cause and potential fault in accidents. These findings can be used in a subsequent New Mexico personal injury lawsuit filed by any of the injury victims. However, even with New Mexico State Police findings, courts will often consider insurance company findings as well.
In many cases, after an accident and before filing a personal injury lawsuit, an injured party and the at-fault party will file a claim with their insurance company. As soon as the claim is filed, a claims adjuster will begin reviewing the claim and investigating the accident. The investigator will likely look over any police reports, conduct investigations and interviews of both parties and any witnesses. They may also visit the accident site and review medical records. In some situations, the insurance adjuster may come to a different conclusion of fault or damages than the police. If the injured party disagrees with the insurance company’s findings, the accident victim may file a personal injury lawsuit.
The National Transportation Safety Board Investigative Process
In addition to a police and insurance company investigation report, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) may also conduct an investigation. This entity was established as an agency that is designed to investigation all major accidents in the United States, including civil aviation accidents. NTSB investigation findings are often reported and addressed in large-scale accidents, however, most people are not aware that NTSB has no regulatory or enforcement powers, and therefore their findings cannot be entered as evidence.