In a car accident case, the burden of proof is on the victim who is seeking compensation. That means your attorney must prove the other party is at fault and link your injuries to the accident.
Your attorney may gather various pieces of evidence to build a case against the at-fault party. However, sometimes pictures of the scene, medical records, the police report and other evidence may not be enough.
This is especially true when the case involves catastrophic injuries and significant damages. Insurance companies are much more likely to demand extensive evidence before agreeing to pay compensation for these types of claims.
Your attorney may decide to bring in an accident reconstruction expert, particularly if the case goes to trial and you need to prove the case to a jury, or if there are disputes about liability. We discuss accident reconstruction and how it may benefit a car accident claim.
Have questions about a car crash? Give us a call today to learn more about how we may be able to help you. We are available for a free consultation to determine your possible legal options.
What is Involved in Accident Reconstruction?
When a Lafayette vehicle accident attorney hires an accident reconstruction expert for a car crash claim, this person will do an in-depth investigation of the crash to determine what happened. After gathering information, accident reconstruction experts often develop computer models of the crash to represent their findings. They may also provide written reports instead of or in addition to the computer model.
Accident reconstruction experts are often brought in when the insurance company disputes liability or when:
- A defective part contributed to the crash
- A government entity is at fault
- The insurance company claims the victim has a preexisting injury
- The insurance company claims you are partially to blame
Gathering Evidence About the Crash
One way to think of accident reconstruction is working backward from the information they have about the crash to draw conclusions about what happened.
Some of the information the accident reconstruction expert may gather includes:
- Pictures of the crash scene
- Pictures of the vehicles involved and the damage they suffered
- Police report
- Witness statements
- Your medical records
- Data captured by event data recorders in the vehicles involved
- Visual inspection of the damaged vehicles
- Weather at the time of the crash
- Visual inspection of the crash scene
- Crash test report data
- Cellphone records
- Pictures of poor road conditions
- Pictures of landscaping that impaired the visibility of the drivers involved
Determining What Happened in the Crash
Accident reconstruction experts gather information and use that to build a computer model. This may allow them to determine what happened in the crash, such as the angle of impact, force of impact, speed the vehicles were traveling and other factors.
After making these assessments, the reconstructionist can try to determine:
- What caused the crash
- How negligence contributed to the crash
- How the crash caused the victim’s injuries
- How the crash damaged the vehicle
For example, the reconstructionist may determine the crash was caused by various forms of reckless driving, such as:
- Breaking the speed limit
- Driving while distracted
- Impaired visibility
- Violating traffic laws, such as running a red light or stop sign
- Violating another driver’s right of way
There are various ways to draw these types of conclusions about a crash. For example, if there were no skid marks, it may indicate distracted driving. When a driver realizes he or she is about to crash, he or she usually hits the brakes, creating skid marks. A lack of skid marks could also indicate speeding because the driver did not have enough time to stop.
The angle of impact and the location of impact can also help to prove the type of crash that happened. For example, sometimes the location of damage indicates which driver had the right of way.
Accident reconstruction experts can review crash test data on the vehicles involved and connect that to the damage suffered. The test data shows what types of damage is likely to occur in certain types of crashes. Reconstructionists can link the damage from the crash to the crash test data and draw conclusions about how the collision happened, the speed at which it happened, the position of the vehicles involved and more.
One of the challenges with a rollover collision is determining what triggered the rollover. This is a situation where it would be beneficial to hire an accident reconstruction expert.
Qualifications of Accident Reconstruction Experts
Accident reconstruction experts have often been educated in various fields like physics, mathematics, forensics and engineering. They have knowledge about all kinds of things that could help them create models of a crash, like the computer applications that can be used to create a model of a crash. They often have knowledge of car dynamics and photogrammetry, which is the science of extracting three-dimensional information from photographs.
Many of the people who go into accident reconstruction previously worked in law enforcement. That gives them extensive knowledge of accident investigation because they have experience doing it. It is important for accident reconstruction experts to have experience and real-world training, so their conclusions are more likely to be viewed as credible by a jury and/or the insurance company.
Contact Galloway Jefcoat Today to Discuss Legal Options
For more than 25 years, our attorneys have been securing compensation for crash victims and victims of other types of accidents. We have obtained hundreds of millions on behalf of our clients at no upfront cost.
Call to learn more about how we are prepared to help you during this difficult time. There are no upfront costs, which means we do not get paid unless you get paid.
Galloway Jefcoat. We are ready to help. Call (337) 984-8020.