What Is Accident Reconstruction?

Accident reconstruction is method used to prove the cause of an accident. Lawyers use accident reconstruction in car accident cases to resolve disputed facts about how fast a vehicle traveled, the point of impact, the sequence of events, and whether a witness’ account is accurate. We also use accident reconstruction in workplace and industrial accident cases.

Top Three Reasons We Use Accident Reconstruction

Accident reconstruction helps us sort out and prove to the court what actually happened when:

  1. The other party denies fault.
  2. Someone cannot remember what happened because of head injuries or other medical issues.
  3. One of the parties died and cannot tell their story.

Types of Vehicles Accident Reconstruction Can Analyze

Many people think of car accidents cases when they hear the term “accident reconstruction,” but these experts also investigate wrecks involving:

  • Trains
  • Farm equipment
  • Construction equipment
  • Boats, ships, and personal watercraft
  • All sizes of trucks, from light-duty pickup trucks to tractor-trailers
  • All sizes of passenger cars, SUVs, and limousines
  • Smaller vehicles like bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, and ATVs

Techniques That Accident Reconstruction Uses

Accident reconstruction experts have multiple methods for explaining to a judge and jury what happened. The facts of the individual case will determine which type they use. Some of the most common techniques are:

  • Simulating the accident. They can do a mock-up to show the court the location of each vehicle before, during, and after the crash, and the speeds at which they traveled.
  • Analyzing video. Video provides an incredible amount of information experts can analyze to build your case.
  • Making calculations. An accident reconstruction expert can show through physics and math that the accident could not have happened the way the other side claims. They can also calculate that the driver was speeding, did not hit the brakes, or blew through the traffic light.
  • Photogrammetry. Experts use photographs to determine the precise place where the impact happened, the height of a person in the picture, and many other details.
  • Testing impact. An accident reconstruction expert can look at the wrecked vehicles, determine the place on each car where they collided and the direction each vehicle was traveling at the time of impact. This information can be essential in disproving the claims of the other side about which party’s negligence caused the crash.

How We Can Prove Your Case Using Accident Reconstruction

Accident reconstruction experts use scientific data to answer questions for the judge and jury about disputed facts. Here are some examples of issues an accident reconstruction expert can testify about:

  • What happened before the crash
  • The order in which events occurred, such as which vehicle struck the other first, and everything that happened afterward
  • What caused the crash
  • The precise point at which a driver applied the brakes
  • If a crash was survivable
  • Whether an eyewitness could have seen what they claim to have witnessed from their location
  • Environmental factors like weather, darkness, road conditions, and whether the angle of the sunlight affected visibility

How Accident Reconstruction Experts Work Their Magic

An accident reconstruction expert analyzes evidence, applies scientific principles and logarithms, and creates a wealth of information about your wreck. Here are some of the ways they perform these functions:

  • Police report. The accident reconstruction expert will read the report of the law enforcement officer who came to the scene, but will not accept it as being 100 percent accurate. Accident reconstruction experts often discover mistakes in police reports. If the police report in your case is wrong and it hurts your case, an accident reconstruction expert can prove what actually happened.
  • Vehicles. Crashed vehicles contain valuable information about the wreck and what caused it. An accident reconstruction expert can examine a wrecked car and establish that the other driver must have driven faster than they admitted. The point of impact can also tell the expert that your vehicle did not drift into the other person’s lane as claimed.
  • Video footage. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a video must be worth far more. Even footage from nearby properties can be of value. For example, a hit and run driver turns himself in three days after the wreck. He denies that he was impaired by alcohol at the time of the accident. Video footage from nearby properties that showed him driving erratically in a manner consistent with alcohol impairment can be critical evidence.
  • Witness statements. An accident reconstruction expert can calculate whether a party or eyewitness is telling the truth about what happened before, during, or after the crash.
  • Measurements. The accident reconstruction expert can go to the scene, take precise measurements, and evaluate photographs. They will apply formulas to analyze the facts of the case and determine who is telling the truth about what occurred.

How to Get Help for Your Accident

If you suffered harm in a car crash or other accident, call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 to set up your free consultation. There is no obligation.