Frequently Asked Questions
How does the process work?
It all starts with a free initial consultation. We will discuss your case and the scope of the investigation. Specifically, we will discuss the facts as they have been reported and the questions you want answered. We will customize an investigation plan to fit your needs. Details such as available evidence, investigation costs, investigative restrictions, and timelines will also be addressed.
What are the fees for your services and are they taxable?
You can click on the "Fee Schedule" tab from the home page to access the fee schedule in pdf format. The fees will be discussed during our initial consultation. Generally, all services are charged at an hourly rate and some services (such as droning or black box downloads) have an additional flat fee. Texas state law does require investigation companies to collect sales tax. Both state and municipal tax must be collected. The services will be taxed at a rate of 8.25%.
How will you get started on my case?
The first step in a crash investigation is to collect all of the available evidence. This will include gathering any evidence you already have. This will also include open records requests for any evidence collected by law enforcement. Heath will then review everything and the specific needs of your case will dictate where the investigation goes from there.
Why do I need an expert? I already have a police report.
Would you walk into court without an attorney? A notable civil case involved a plaintiff who sued a driver that pulled out of a parking lot and hit a driver on the main road. This plaintiff had a police report listing the other driver (i.e. the one who pulled out of the parking lot) at fault. A good case, right? No, they had no expert witness. The other driver claimed that the plaintiff was speeding and had cell phone pictures of skid marks left by the plaintiff leading up to the collision. The jury couldn't reach a verdict and no damages were awarded. The jury felt that the plaintiff might have been speeding, based upon the skid marks. An expert witness would have made all of the difference. The skid marks in that case simply meant that the driver responded as they should (i.e. by braking hard because the other driver pulled out in front of them). The skid marks in no way meant the driver was speeding. You also need an expert if you disagree with the police report. Or the police report may be incomplete or may not accurately reflect how the crash happened or all of the contributing factors in the collision. It takes an expert to determine whether the report is accurate.
Do you require a retainer?
Most cases will not require a retainer. A retainer may be required when extensive investigation is expected or out-of-town travel is required.
How is Closing Speed Consulting different than other crash experts?
Closing Speed Consulting is owned and operated by a retired full-time police crash investigator who investigated crashes at the actual scene on a daily basis for his entire police career. Crashes are the result of bad driving behaviors. Those bad driving behaviors are also illegal. Since crashes are about fault, then the illegal driving behaviors are important when fault determinations are made. Choosing a crash reconstruction expert who was also a full-time police traffic officer with extensive knowledge of traffic law adds benefit to your case. Police traffic investigators are also uniquely qualified to answer questions about violations of traffic law and what speeds are reasonable, since they are the ones enforcing those laws.
Is your company licensed and insured?
Yes, pursuant to Texas Occupations code 1702, investigations companies must be insured and licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Regulatory Services Division. Closing Speed Consulting LLC is licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (License# A04151001).
Can fault in a car crash always be determined?
In most cases fault can be determined through investigation. However, crash investigations, like any other kind of investigation, require evidence. Crashes leave pieces of evidence all around. If evidence is not properly preserved, then it may be lost forever. The more evidence you have, the more puzzle pieces you have to put it all back together.
What are your service areas?
We cover Texas and Oklahoma.
How do I pay you?
Payments may be made by check and mailed to Closing Speed Consulting, P.O. Box 2341, Rockwall, Texas 75087.