Emergency Response Team

“A quick decision today can determine how your tomorrows end up.”
Robert Shaffer

I. DEFINITION

The Emergency Response Team is a unique service provided by Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod & Kantor.  It provides an immediate response to all serious accident scenes by an attorney who coordinates a series of “pre-suit” discovery methods to immediately assess liability and, most importantly, secure the evidence needed later at trial.  Some of the activities performed include: obtaining and coordinating experts to come to the scene; taking photographs of vehicle damage, roadway debris, skid marks, etc.; documenting any and all physical evidence; taking and recording witness statements; procuring repair and maintenance records on the subject vehicle; obtaining statements from injured parties at hospitals; and attempting to procure any and all medical information on any injured parties.

II. INITIATION OF RESPONSE TEAMS

  1. Upon learning of an accident, immediately contact Dale Hightower or an attorney in the respective region.
  2. All attorneys can be reached on cell phones or e-mail 24/7.
  3. An attorney will be at the scene as soon as possible; the goal is to arrive at the scene while the vehicles are still in their final resting place and/or before roadway debris has been cleared or witnesses have left the scene.
  4. Attorneys will travel to any serious accident scene anytime, anywhere.

III. WHAT IF I LEARN OF THE ACCIDENT SEVERAL HOURS LATER? SHOULD I STILL CONTACT THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM?

Yes. Immediately contact our team even if the accident occurred several hours prior.  Important physical evidence and statements may still be documented.  For example:

  1. Debris will probably still be on the roadway.
  2. Skid marks will still be on the roadway.
  3. Tire tracks or imprints will still be on the ground.
  4. Bloodstains (if the injured party is a motorcyclist or was ejected from the vehicle) will still be on the roadway.
  5. Witnesses will still have a fresh memory of the event and can be contacted to give statements the next day.
  6. Even if the vehicles have been removed, you can photograph damage at the tow lot.  It is crucial to the defense of a case to photograph any and all damage before the plaintiff’s vehicle is released and disappears.
  7. For a seat-belt defense, a photo of the plaintiff’s vehicle with a “spider crack” in the front windshield is indispensable.

IV. WHY DO I NEED AN EXPERT AT THE SCENE IMMEDIATELY?

  1. Impressive to the jury that the defendant had an expert out at the scene immediately.
  2. Imposing to the opposing counsel that the defendant has already formulated a theory of defense on first day of accident.
  3. Experts, especially accident reconstruction experts, are trained to note particulars of the roadway which may be beneficial to the defense.
  4. Experts can immediately examine defendant’s vehicle and confirm that it was in proper working order at the time of the incident.

V. WHAT TYPES OF EXPERTS USUALLY COME TO THE SCENE IMMEDIATELY?

Hightower, Stratton, Novigrod & Kantor routinely works with several types of experts in the defense of a variety of personal injury actions and the precise make-up of the team depends upon a multitude of factors.  However, the On Scene Instant Response Team would typically employ the following:

  1. Accident Reconstruction Experts at the scene to evaluate the roadway, skid marks, physical damage to vehicles and roadway debris.
  2. Engineers are brought to the accident scene to examine the vehicle and seat-belts to determine whether it is in proper working order.
  3. Human Factors Experts to determine if the injured party was distracted and/or how quickly a person can change lanes, make turns, etc.

When time is of the essence, place your trust in attorneys who know how to take charge of an accident scene and can come to your aid anytime. When the need arises, contact us, and one of our experienced lawyers will be on the way.