What Does an Accident Reconstructionist Do?
It is not uncommon for participants in an auto collision to be shaken and disoriented after a traumatic event. This can lead to crucial evidence being forgotten or misremembered. An accident reconstructionist is a forensic expert capable of reconstructing an accident from start to finish using data received from fact witnesses, the scene and the involved vehicles, among other things.
Accident reconstruction is a scientific process that involves a highly skilled professional who has received specialized training in engineering, law enforcement, and science. They must know how to investigate, analyze, and formulate conclusions about how an accident occurred.
What methods do accident reconstructionists use?
From the point that an accident reconstructionist gathers the evidence to when they’re able to fully reconstruct the scene, a lot takes place. They first ensure the preservation of all relevant data so as to allow them access to as much relevant information and evidence as possible. The sooner they’re able to do so, the less risk there is of any evidence becoming contaminated or lost. They will quickly visit the scene of the accident and obtain any photo or video surveillance. They will interview witnesses as well as the investigating authorities. They will also obtain and review reports pertaining to the particular collision.
They will commonly inspect impact marks, tire marks, vehicle damage, roadway surfaces, and metal debris. They will also obtain information that has been recorded in the vehicle’s “black box,” such as the airbag’s control modules and if seat belts were used.
Once they have all this data, they can begin to reconstruct the accident using various methods. If dealing with a vehicle, the expert will use energy analysis to determine the speeds before impact. This helps calculate the vehicle’s kinetic energy and how it was transferred upon impact based on the level of speed.
They can also conduct a time-distance analysis which looks at any possible reaction time to avoid the collision, inattentiveness of the driver, and the initial distance from the impact. Before putting the final pieces together, they will also consider the weather at the time of the accident, lighting conditions, the type of roadway the wreck occurred and anything else that may have impacted how and why the wreck occurred.
What can an accident reconstructionist determine?
There are several different questions that a reconstructionist’s work can answer:
- What maneuvers were made by each driver just before they collided
- The speeds involved in a collision and whether there was an attempt to use the brakes
- If the vehicle’s tires needed more or less pressure and if that was a factor in the incident
- If the plaintiff’s injuries were caused in the accident based on the damage that the vehicle acquired
- If there were any mechanical problems that contributed to the collision in any way
What is the expert’s role in my case?
Not all situations and cases are the same. While some cases may not require an accident reconstructionist, some cases will naturally result in a huge disagreement regarding liability, making the testimony of a reconstructionist extremely valuable.
An accident reconstructionist’s work will be able to assist the court and trier of fact in discarding any inaccurate details provided by the defendant or any other witness. Juries are oftentimes more naturally inclined to believe the findings of an expert involved in forensics as opposed to a lay person that may be a party or a witness.
How a Tulsa car accident attorney chooses an accident reconstructionist
You already have a lot to deal with; do not worry about having to choose this type of expert yourself. The experienced attorneys at Biby Law have worked with many accident reconstructionists in the past and will assist you in finding the best professional for your case. There are several factors that your lawyer will focus on when choosing one:
- What are their credentials?
- How much education and training have they had? Have they followed up on new training and regulations?
- How much experience do they have?
- How reputable are they in the legal community?
- What is their success rate? Have they been able to win many cases in situations like yours?
- What is their testimony history for the critical issues in your case?
- How do they present as a witness?
The accident reconstructionist will have real-world training, experience, and knowledge. They’ll need to be well-versed physics, engineering, mathematics, computer applications, and car dynamics. Your lawyer knows it’s important to remember that the accident reconstructionist’s expertise will be questioned while in court. To avoid any issues, your lawyer will ensure that all angles that could be used to attack the expert’s opinions have been accounted for. The expert must be able to defend their opinions with sound logic and common sense while also abiding by scientific and industry standards and methodologies as required of expert witnesses.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s okay to not be able to make sense of the situation if you’re still recovering physically and emotionally. In the right cases your attorney will work with a highly skilled accident reconstructionist to ensure that no stone is left unturned, and your case is postured to succeed. They’ll be with you every step of the way and answer any questions or concerns you may have. At Biby Law Firm, our experienced attorneys are ready to help injured Oklahomans injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. Call our office, or submit our contact form to schedule free consultation.
Jacob Biby has spent his legal career helping folks just like you get the resources they need after an injury. He completed his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 2008. Jacob is licensed to practice in all Oklahoma state and federal courts, and has limited his career to representing individuals and families who were injured by the negligence of other people or corporations. Learn more about Jacob Biby.