To obtain the compensation you deserve after a car accident, you must prove the other driver’s fault in causing the crash, what injuries you suffered, and the amount of compensation you are entitled to. Each person’s claim is different as are the disputes. In some cases, the issue is who was at fault in causing the crash. In others, the adjuster is arguing that you suffered a pre-existing injury or that your medical treatments were unnecessary. If liability is an issue, you will need all the evidence you can obtain—such as witness testimony, pictures, and police accident report—to win your case. In complicated cases where the insurance company is pointing the finger at someone else or you, you may need even more ammunition. If this is your situation, your attorney may recommend that you hire an accident reconstruction expert.
What Is Accident Reconstruction?
An accident reconstruction expert is a person qualified to recreate your accident scene after examining all aspects of your crash. These experts are often engineers, have an engineering or other applicable science background, or are law enforcement officials with special training. They basically investigate, analyze, and come to conclusions about the cause of your crash and events leading up to it.
The process of investigation that accident reconstruction experts use is similar to detectives investigating a crime. They may utilize the following in drawing their conclusions:
- Visiting the accident scene
- Inspecting the damage to the vehicles
- Reviewing the medical records of any injured parties
- Studying the police report
- Watching surveillance footage of the crash
- Interviewing witnesses
- Examining photos taken after the accident occurred
- Studying debris, the point of impact, and skid marks
- Retrieving and analyzing data from a vehicle black box
Once the expert evaluates this information, he may create different scenarios as to how the accident occurred and use complex computer programs to re-enact the crash.
When Could You Need an Accident Reconstruction Expert?
Not all victims need to hire an accident reconstruction expert to reach a satisfactory settlement with the insurance company for the negligent driver. If liability is clear or the sequence of events is fairly easy to establish, this expert would not be needed. You may want to hire an accident reconstruction expert in these situations:
- You cannot remember how the crash happened.
- There are few or no witnesses.
- The vehicles are destroyed beyond repair.
- Proving liability for the crash is complicated.
- Victims suffered serious injuries or died—making the claim value higher and more hotly contested by the insurance company.
- Other pieces of important evidence are missing.
How an Accident Reconstruction Expert Could Help Your Case
An accident reconstruction expert could answer many questions about your case. Depending on the issues in dispute and your accident scenario, you may want him to draw conclusions about these subjects:
- Calculate the vehicle speeds and movements
- Evaluate the crash scene physics
- Determine the accident sequence of events and how the damage occurred
- Determine the vehicle positions and ability to avoid the collision
- Determine the magnitude of the impact
- Establish whether people involved in the crash were wearing their seat belts
- Decide if visibility was a problem and why
- Determine who the drivers were if this is in dispute
- Establish the steering angles
- Make a determination whether vehicle lights were used and whether there was a problem with them
- Make conclusions about whether the brakes were used in the moments leading up to the crash
- Determine if the vehicle accelerated before the collision
- Determine whether any engine indicator lights went on before the wreck
- Establish the engine rpm
- Decide whether cruise control was engaged
- Determine if the anti-lock brakes were being utilized
Let David Brauns Help You Decide Whether You Need an Accident Reconstruction Expert for Your Case
Deciding what the true disputes will be in your case and whether you need to hire an expert are difficult to make and ones you should not make on your own. An experienced car accident attorney can help you make this important decision for your case and will have experts he trusts to use in cases like yours. If you need to hire an attorney for your car accident case, fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your situation and whether an accident reconstruction expert could be helpful in your case.