The worst car, motorcycle, and 18-wheeler crashes often receive special attention from law enforcement. The South Carolina Highway Patrol Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) is often deployed in cases involving:
- Complex crashes, like multi-car pile-ups
- Severe injury
- DUI with severe injury or death
MAIT is a troop of officers the Highway Patrol describes as “using state-of-the-art technology and analysis to reconstruct the scene.”
That means you’ve got multiple officers gathering tremendous amounts of evidence and information about your case and analyzing it to reach opinions on the cause of the crash. The evidence gathered often provides additional reasons to maximize your compensation—if put in skilled hands. Getting this evidence and using it properly can have a huge impact on your case.
Let’s look at some of the most important things MAIT does to help your case.
Find and Interview Witnesses
MAIT officers will interview virtually any witness they can find. The extensive investigation file often contains:
- Witness contact information
- Written statements by the witnesses
- Notes on the interviews from the officers
- Audio interviews—and sometimes even video
In fatal cases, you might get information related to the coroner’s investigation.
The most important work MAIT does is reconstruct the crash and the scene. Reports often include in-depth studies of the vehicles involved.
But most importantly, MAIT can provide some of the most powerful evidence in your case about the intensity of the impact and the cause of the crash. MAIT performs detailed calculations to help pinpoint the cause of the crash. That can include vital facts like the speed of vehicles at impact, including feet traveled per second, plus the time and distance required to stop to avoid the collision. These studies can include aerial photographs of the scene. Sometimes, MAIT even performs computer-animated drawings to illustrate time, speed, and distance at various critical points before impact—and right at it.
MAIT often takes an enormous number of pictures related to the crash and the scene from different angles. These pictures can document:
- The vehicles, showing location on the roadway and trashed condition after the impact
- The scene at the time of the crash and afterward, to give an idea of what traffic is like under average conditions
- Victim injuries, if MAIT officers arrive before the ambulance takes them away
Wreck-Scene Sketches and Diagrams
The MAIT officers often make multiple sketches and diagrams of the scene. These diagrams help reconstruct the crash and its cause. They often depict the time and distance calculations mentioned above. These drawings can become powerful evidence in your case as they show a simple but undeniable depiction of the cause of the crash. Many times, these drawings are accompanied by extensive notes describing the area. They may also show traffic signals, obstructions, and the location of crash debris.
In certain cases, MAIT even uses computer-animated drawings to re-create the crash.
Medical Evidence and Alcohol & Drug Testing
For a deadly accident, the report will likely contain interviews with the coroner, and it might even contain the results of the autopsy.
If the case involves DUI allegations, results of drug or alcohol tests of the at-fault driver’s blood, breath, or urine may be included. Needless to say, these results can enhance your opportunity to obtain punitive damages if it can be proven that the at-fault driver was under the influence.
MAIT is extremely thorough. If the crash occurred on a road with businesses, the officers may canvas the owners to determine if they have surveillance footage that shows the crash. It’s hard to imagine better proof of what caused a crash than a videotape of the actual event.
The report might also contain the driving record for the drivers involved in the crash. A driving record can be useful in some cases to show a company driver or trucker had such a bad driving record he shouldn’t have been given a company vehicle.
The report will also include insurance information for the drivers involved in the crash.
The Most Important Things About the MAIT Report
For the MAIT report to work for you, you’ve got to know two things: how to get it and what to do with it.
You need this problem addressed by a professional with experience in developing evidence to present in court because the insurance company won’t worry if you don’t know how to preserve the evidence. You could ruin your case if you don’t make sure to get the information in time and tell the MAIT team to preserve it for your use—eventually, most investigation evidence gets destroyed.
Just responding to the report’s contents can be treacherous for inexperienced, upset victims. Simply reviewing the evidence or even contacting witnesses may be too horrifying because it forces you to relive a nightmare.
If you need help getting MAIT evidence before it gets lost—and using it effectively to right this wrong—seek the aid of an experienced professional.
Fill out our Get Help Now form to get answers from an experienced auto and trucking accident attorney. You can also check out our FREE REPORT on crash cases.
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