In instances whereby accidents are complex and have several complicated factors associated with them, they may require an accident reconstruction to be carried out. The accident reconstruction determines what elements existed during the incident, who is at fault in the accident and how to proceed with the litigation claim. This article will discuss when accident reconstruction is required in a car accident personal injury case.
Accident reconstruction may be defined as “the process of investigating, analyzing and drawing conclusions about the cause and events during a vehicle accident”. It entails using scientific methods to replay the accident. The act of reconstructing an accident determines the circumstances, mechanics and factors linked with the accident. Accident reconstruction, in most cases, is performed by experts trained in traffic accident reconstruction engineering and physics. In addition to such training is law enforcement.
The need for accident reconstruction is borne from the requirements of the law when an accident occurs. The burden of proof lies on the plaintiff to show that the other party is responsible for the accident and the injuries or losses they suffered due to the accident. As such, a lawyer well-versed in personal injury law may find it necessary to hire an expert with forensic knowledge and expertise in reconstructing an accident.
An accident reconstruction expert's basic rule is to create a timeline that includes all elements that led up to the incident. This could involve factors such as:
Weather conditions before and at the time of the accident
Road construction or related issues
The well-being of both drivers at the time of the accident
Defects that may have been present on either vehicle as well as the conditions of the vehicle
The reconstruction progresses with all information collected to create a clear picture of what happened on the road and show the court which party has greater responsibility for the accident.
Note that the police's preliminary investigation on site of the accident describes a form of the accident reconstruction. However, there are instances where formal accident reconstruction is essential for the case. Such additional details remove confusion and assist the court in having a clearer view of what transpired.
Accident reconstruction experts can provide information and evidence that may strengthen the claim. For example, having the earliest photos of the accident, the police and their report's measurement of all factors of the accident provide clarity on what transpired. The National Academy of Forensic Engineers is currently training police to support the reconstruction of accidents to determine other factors and find which party is liable for the accident.
Some accidents lack the necessary details for reconstruction. While it is not always essential for accident reconstruction, such information helps understand what happened and how to proceed with the parties involved. The additional information helps the judge or jury determine who is responsible and any fault to be placed on the victim.
Speak to an accident lawyer as to whether you need an accident reconstruction expert for your case.