Those involved in or witness a severe motor vehicle accident likely will never forget it. However, the details can get fuzzy over time, and eyewitnesses may be unreliable due to the traumatic nature of the crash, cognitive bias or subconscious influence.
As a branch of causation forensics, accident reconstruction experts examine the details surrounding a vehicle crash, using the facts to get to the truth of the matter. They then form objective opinions about crash angles, visibility, velocity, and other factors.
Experts in their field
They draw upon the principles of physics, mathematics and engineering to arrive at their conclusions. Examples include:
- They can measure the vehicle impact damage to determine a more precise judgment of vehicle speed.
- They examine crash site evidence (either live, photos, or video) like tire marks, impact marks, metal debris, road surface, damage to the surrounding area, and deployment of safety features like airbags.
- They consider occupants’ injuries and how they relate to evidence inside the vehicle.
- They do an energy analysis that involves a formula that uses vehicles’ speed and weight and then combines it with road conditions and damage.
Testimony at trial
The qualified expert can then testify in court. They will draw upon their expertise and experience in these matters and will often use technologically advanced visual aids to recreate the accident. Those who provide unbiased analysis communicated clearly and concisely can be a real benefit, enabling judges and juries to understand and conceptualize the crash details.
Since each expert is different, their conclusions may vary, so the plaintiff and defense may have an expert witness. These experts add expense (time, travel, lodging can add up) and they are, unlike the attorney, paid regardless of whether the client wins or loses.
Attorneys use this information
This information can help build a case, but an effective personal injury attorney will provide invaluable guidance for negotiating and securing a fair and equitable resolution for the victim.