Traffic Accident Investigations. CSI. Really?

What happens on CSI doesn't resemble what occurs in the usual Coachella Valley traffic accident investigation. As a motorcycle accident attorney representing injured riders throughout the desert, I have to review traffic accident reports. I often find what appears to be a bias against the motorcycle rider that becomes evident when I read the accident reports. When I visit an accident scene and examine evidence that resulted from the accident, I am on occasion able to locate physical evidence that completely discredits the conclusion of the investigating officer. I am not suggesting that most police officers don't spend the necessary time to thoroughly investigate motorcycle accidents. But because of budget cutbacks and a rising crime rate, the CSI approach isn't often followed. In a recent La Quinta motorcycle/pickup truck accident that we were asked to investigate we learned that the police report favored the truck driver based on alleged statements and physical evidence. Fortunately I was made aware that the physical evidence still remaining at the accident scene cast doubt on the accuracy of the police report. I visited the scene with an expert. We found markings on the roadway that disproved the story told by the truck driver. I also discovered that several witnesses that came to the scene after the accident took photographs of the vehicle positions and conditions of the roadway. These photos help our client and will assist the jury in their fact finding mission. This case confirmed what I have learned in more than 40 years practicing personal injury law. Don't rely on traffic accident reports without getting all the evidence that may still be available.