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Reports on car accidents often lack vital information

Motor vehicle accidents in Fort Lauderdale, throughout Florida and across the U.S. happen every day. These can cause injuries and wrongful death. Because of the physical, personal, emotional and financial toll these car accidents can exact on a person and his or her family, a legal filing is often the only way to achieve some semblance of justice with compensation for what was lost. However, these legal filings are frequently contingent on determining the cause of the crash, and this is made more difficult with the lack of information that accident reports provide.

A study from the National Safety Council (NSC) found that accident reports from the entire U.S. did not have the relevant fields for law enforcement officers to detail all the different causes that might have led to the crash. 49 states do have "general driver fatigue" as a reason, but other reasons for accidents are not available on the forms. For example, 32 states do not have space for specific drug use; 32 do not have a field to state that it is believed that mobile phone use was a cause; and 26 do not have fields to report that the driver was texting.

The study says that 48 states fail to have a field to note that there was handheld phone use. Three states have a field to note that the driver was distracted by what is known as "infotainment." 18 states record drivers who were distracted by electronic devices that passengers were using at the time of the accident. The NSC named 23 different factors that are currently not on these reports but they believe should be. According to statistics, up to 40,000 people might have been killed in car accidents in 2016 making it the highest total in a decade. It is also an increase of 14 percent from 2014 and 6 percent from 2015.

Without this information, it is not only difficult for people to provide evidence in their legal case, but it is hard for law enforcement to pay closer attention to these issues and try to stop them. When a person is injured or loses a loved one in a motor vehicle crash, the right evidence can be essential to a successful legal filing. Since it is difficult for all details to be listed on the accident report, the investigation takes on greater relevance. For an experienced investigation and pursuit of compensation, a personal injury attorney should be consulted.

Source: Edmunds.com, "Most Crash Reports Don't Capture All Critical Information, Study Finds," April 27, 2017

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