Motor vehicle accidents happen very rapidly. Many events that are crucial to understanding why the accident happened may be condensed into a few seconds. People involved in an accident often do not observe – or cannot remember – the sequence of events that caused the mishap. In such cases, the services of an accident reconstruction expert may be necessary to prove fault and causation, two essential elements of a court case seeking to recover damages.
What is an accident reconstruction expert?
Most accident reconstruction experts have backgrounds in engineering or some other physical science. These experts also have more detailed training in the physics involved in various kinds of accidents or construction errors.
How are accidents reconstructed?
The first task of an accident reconstruction expert is to document the scene of the accident. This documentation is accomplished by making a detailed visual inspection of the scene, noting the position of all involved vehicles and their drivers or occupants.
Most reconstruction experts use video technology to make a visual record of the scene. The visual record will include tire marks left on the pavement, damage to roadside objects such as traffic signs and safety barriers, and pieces of the automobiles that broke loose in the collision. The testimony of eyewitnesses is also a fruitful source of information for the reconstruction expert.
The reconstruction specialist will also remove the remains of any vehicles to a garage or other space where a detailed examination of the wreckage can be thoroughly inspected. Forensic engineers keep extensive records of how various automotive designs and materials respond to a collision impact.
Using these data and information gathered at the scene, the reconstruction specialist can determine the speed and direction of travel of each vehicle before, during, and after the collision.
Using the information gathered during the inspection process, the reconstruction expert can construct a detailed narrative of the events preceding and causing the accident. Many reconstruction specialists resort to software than enables them to construct a video animation of the accident itself. Such animations can be shown to a jury by the lawyers for the parties to assist in explaining the how and why of an accident to a jury.
A detailed reconstruction of the events involved in an accident may be the difference between losing and winning a case involving many thousands dollars.