Accident Reconstruction: What Is It & Does Your Case Need It?
Accidents can put victims off guard. Injuries may resurface even weeks after the collision. That is why the police and responsible authorities must conduct a thorough investigation to identify who is liable for the damages. That is, they perform an accident reconstruction of the case to gather all available evidence and determine what and how it happened.
Read on to find out what accident reconstruction means, how it works, and why you need one after getting injured in a car accident.
What is Accident Reconstruction?
Forensic accident reconstruction is the process that uses scientific methodology to identify the circumstances, mechanics, and contributing factors connected to a collision. Gathering strong evidence is also important to determine how the accident occurred.
To analyze the nature of the accident from all angles, the investigation involves the participation of experts in various fields, such as:
Importance of Accident Reconstruction in a Case
Performing an accident reconstruction can help win claims. This will provide a detailed investigation to create a comprehensive collision analysis report and serve as powerful evidence in settlement negotiations. The written report includes information about the cause of personal injuries, the extent of personal injuries, and property damages to prove liability.
Through successful accident reconstruction, the authorities can obtain essential information for the following:
- Vehicle’s speed limit
- The force and angle of the impact
- Negligent actions of the drivers that lead to the accident
- Pedestrian’s contribution to the accident
- Using a phone at the time of the accident
- Vehicle defects
- Similarity and differences of eyewitness accounts
- Other factors
How Does it Work?
Accident reconstructionists require a high volume of information when performing a case’s detailed mathematics and physics calculations. These details may come from the plaintiff who filed the case.
The process begins by collecting physical and documentary evidence, such as:
- Photos of the accident scene
- Medical records
- Photos of the involved vehicles
- Police report
- Eyewitness statements
- CCTV footage
- Vehicle damages
- Location of the accident
The experts will use this set of evidence to create a detailed report and generate mathematical models of possible accident scenarios.
For example, when you contact police or emergency services after a car accident, personnel from public safety entities respond to the scene. The responding officer will ask you for a detailed narrative to create a Traffic Collision Report. Similarly, emergency service responders will create medical records and retain a copy of any phone calls.
Any reports created by these first responders, which transcribe your first-hand account into a permanent document, are relevant to your personal injury case. Furthermore, you should also take pictures of different angles of the accident scene and the vehicles involved, provided that you have not sustained any major injuries.
What is the Role of an Accident Reconstructionist?
An accident reconstructionist investigates the scene and analyzes the causes of the crash, including the extent of your physical and property damages. Moreover, the accident reconstruction expert resolves issues such as speeds, collision severity, a driver’s visibility, a driver’s ability to have avoided the wreck, and other causal factors.
As an expert witness, an accident reconstructionist also plays an important role in your personal injury or property damage case. Your personal injury attorney from Adamson Ahdoot’s team will rely on accident reconstruction to prove your case and determine theories of liability.
Important Steps to Take in an Accident Reconstruction
To give you an idea of how it is done, here’s a step-by-step guide on how the process should take place:
Survey the scene
As soon as you begin working with an accident reconstruction expert, they should investigate the accident scene.
The reconstructionist will search for physical evidence, such as:
- Skid marks
- Points of impact on the environment
- Vehicle rest positions
- Fluid spills
Inspect the Vehicle
The accident reconstructionist should then inspect your vehicle. If the scenario permits, they will inspect other vehicles involved.
While the condition of the post-crash vehicle may limit the extent of the investigation, an inspection should review the following:
- Airbag deployment
- Indications of seat belt use or indentation
- Turn signal or headlight use
- Post-impact photos from you, police, or other parties
- Any downloadable data from the vehicle
They will also look for any glass or debris located within the tire rims, door panels, or other areas of the car. This could show degrees of impact and undercarriage damage.
The accident reconstruction expert will also seek repair estimates, crash test reports, and vehicle specifications for your car model. Taking photographs after the collision can help the accident reconstruction expert get the investigation done quickly.
Photos of the vehicles involved can be used to perform photogrammetry, which compares the images to determine the relative size and location of physical evidence.
Run Detailed Calculations
The process requires detailed calculations to determine variables, including the pre-impact and post-impact speed, change in velocity, peak or average vehicle acceleration, and collision duration.
Another critical factor is the principal direction of force (PDOF). The PDOF represents the sum of all collision forces necessary to deform or damage the vehicle. For instance, the surface of a car can change during the collision.
The PDOF shows the main direction in which these changes occurred, which can indicate which driver crashed into the other. Once the expert has performed the necessary calculations, they reconstruct your accident using computer software. This may also include a detailed video simulation.
How Much is the Estimated Cost?
The price of the whole process and investigation, including the accident reconstruction expert’s professional fee, depends on the scope and complexity of the accident. Other fees are based on the time and expertise spent performing the reconstruction. On top of that, there might be unnecessary expenses, especially if the experts develop unfavorable findings.
When Do You Need an Accident Reconstruction?
The investigation takes place if there are significant damages or fatalities. Aside from inspecting the scene and reviewing the evidence, car accident reconstruction professionals may conduct a forensic analysis of the vehicles involved.
Here are some sample scenarios where you might need an accident reconstruction expert:
- Eyewitnesses have contradictory statements
- No valuable eyewitnesses at all
- Experiences difficulty in obtaining evidence on your own
- The only witness you have died in the accident
Schedule a Consultation With Adamson Ahdoot Lawyers
Have you been injured in a vehicle collision? Don’t let your injuries burden you for the rest of your life. Our experienced lawyers at Adamson Ahdoot will thoroughly investigate your case with the help of forensic and medical experts.
We can help you navigate the claims process, obtain an appropriate accident reconstruction expert, and maximize your settlement. Call us at (800) 310-1606 today to schedule a free consultation with a premier injury attorney.
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