When an accident occurs, it is sometimes unclear exactly what led up to the collision. Witnesses may have conflicting stories, and the drivers may disagree on exactly who was at fault in the crash. In fact, if a person is killed or seriously injured in the crash, one side of the story would be missing.
Accident experts may be able to reconstruct the circumstances leading up to a car accident. A professional accident reconstruction expert uses various scientific methods to reconstruct exactly what occurred moment-by-moment in order to establish liability for the crash. These experts may be employed by a personal injury attorney in order to convince an insurance company or a jury that the victim should recover damages.
How Does An Accident Reconstruction Expert Determine the Facts of a Car Accident?
When an accident reconstruction expert begins to examine a case, he or she will follow several steps to reach a conclusion about the cause of the accident. In many cases, the accident reconstruction expert will:
- Visit the scene of the crash and take photos of the road, trees, obstacles that may have contributed to the accident and the general layout of the area.
- Obtain copies of the police reports and examine them for possible clues to the cause of the accident as well as inconsistencies and errors in the reporting of the facts.
- Interview witnesses to the accident and record their testimony for future use.
- Examine the wreckage of the accident and look for clues as to the possible causes of the crash.
- Apply scientific formulas and principles to the evidence obtained, including skid marks, damage to objects such as telephone poles or trees, glass spray patterns and other physical markers that may lead to theories about the crash.
- Work with personal injury attorneys to develop theories about how the accident occurred and to back up those theories with scientific proof that will convince a jury that a particular driver caused an accident and should be held responsible for payment of damages to the victim.
Accident reconstruction experts cannot “prove” that an accident happened a certain way. In fact, no one can prove that an accident was someone’s fault even if there are witnesses to the crash.
Instead, juries are required to consider a “preponderance of the evidence” and make a judgment as to what they believe is the truth about the crash. Evidence that a driver was drunk, speeding or committing some other negligent act may help the jury decide that a victim is entitled to payment of damages for his or her injuries.
It is important that a victim who has been involved in a car accident and suffered injuries as a result consult a personal injury attorney for help. A car accident lawyer may decide to retain the services of an accident reconstruction expert to assist the victim in recovering damages from the responsible driver in a personal injury case.