A lot of cases I handle as a private investigator involve car accidents. They may as well call me Colman the Car Detective. I don’t mind handling car accident cases because most of these cases are interesting and involve a great deal of digging. Typically, I’m only hired for criminal cases, but if someone is getting prosecuted in both criminal and civil court, I may get hired by the civil or criminal team.
Victim of a Hit-and-Run
One interesting case I handled involved a hit-and-run accident in Orange County, California. The victim suffered severe auto injuries after another driver sideswiped them on the highway and kept driving. Hit-and-run cases can be hard to solve if there are no witnesses or evidence of who the colliding driver was. This is where I come in as a private investigator.
Finding the Culprit
As a private investigator, I have expertise that the police and many attorneys don’t. The police called me once they exhausted their options for finding the liable driver. I started surveying the scene of the accident to look for clues. I found miniscule pieces of what I thought could be the colliding driver’s vehicle, so I took them in for examination.
My team identified the pieces as paint and metal used on cars back in the eighties. This didn’t solve my case, but it got me closer to identifying the culprit’s vehicle. The crash occurred on a highway where a few stores were nearby. I asked the stores for any video footage they may have. Though none had footage of the wreck in action, I found footage of what looked to be eighties-style vehicle passing by at the same time that the wreck happened.
I followed this lead and identified the car as a 1982 Chevrolet Impala. There were only five left in Orange County in this color. When I searched for the five owners of these vehicles, I had no way of knowing who may have caused the accident . . . until one of the five vehicles showed up as recently receiving repairs at a local shop in the area. The repairs were for damage to the left side of the vehicle—the same side where the injured victim had been side-swept. I knew right then, I had found the culprit.
The Consequences of Leaving the Scene
The colliding driver was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident and vehicular assault. He was sentenced to four years in prison and had to pay $10,000 in fines for his crime. After being charged criminally, he was charged civilly and had to pay the injured victim an even larger settlement.
I felt so proud to seek justice on behalf of the injured victim in this case. It wasn’t an easy case to solve, but Colman the Car Detective came through!