Independent investigators will often examine motor vehicle crashes involving severe injury or death. The goal is to determine whether there was negligent behavior on the part of those involved in the crash. Through their investigation, it may come to light that a truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel or that a negligent driver caused the crash because he or she exceeded the legal speed limit.
What do the investigators do?
These investigators are often retired or off-duty law enforcement officers, engineers or automotive technologists. They will consider all aspects of the crash, inspecting the crash site, attempting to determine where the initial collision took place and then where the vehicles ended up after contact. They will note skid marks, gouge marks or scrub marks at the crash site. They will also examine the damage to the vehicles first-hand or using pictures taken at the time of the incident. They will measure these details and use the principles of physics, mathematics and engineering to analyze the crash. Using these principles, they form expert opinions regarding such causal factors as velocity, collision angles and driver visibility.
The benefits of reconstruction
Plaintiffs and their legal team will use this as proof of negligence, thus strengthening their argument. The benefits of these experts’ work include:
- A precise analysis of the details provides a much more accurate recount of the vehicles’ speed and the drivers’ response.
- Eyewitnesses often become unreliable due to the crash’s traumatic nature or the passing of time, so this analysis offers a recreation based on actual facts.
- The expert witness can then testify in court, even using demonstration aids like computer simulations to illustrate their points in a way that eyewitnesses can’t.
In cases, the use of crash recreation experts may involve the defendant’s team also retaining their expert. So, it is essential to hire a qualified expert who can refute erroneous data provided by the defense.
Legal guidance also necessary
Personal injury attorneys will often bring in these experts to provide a clear picture of the incident. However, a skilled attorney with experience handling motor vehicle crashes will also provide invaluable guidance in court or negotiating with the insurance company’s attorneys. Their work enables plaintiffs to hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions.