What Is An Accident Reconstructionist?

How Accident Reconstructionists Help Your Case | Patrick Daniel Law
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Accident reconstruction is a field dedicated to the analysis of factors that lead to a crash. Both government agencies and companies in the private sector hire accident reconstructionists to assist with determining the cause of collisions involving a wide variety of vehicles.

In a car accident claim, accident reconstruction can play a crucial role in assessing not only why the accident happened but who is at fault. Our lawyers frequently hire accident reconstruction specialists as expert witnesses to assist in building cases on behalf of our clients.

The team at Patrick Daniel Law has strong relationships with experts in a number of specialized fields. Should you decide to hire us after a free consultation, our Houston car accident lawyers can determine what expert witnesses may be needed to help build your claim.

What Is Accident Reconstruction?

The forensic consulting firm Fire & Accident Causation Technical Services defines accident reconstruction as “a branch of causation forensics which involves determining how and why an accident happened – accomplished first by correctly interpreting the clues left by the remaining physical evidence of the accident, then by reconstructing and studying the events preceding, during, and following the accident.”

In effect, accident reconstructionists work in reverse, documenting and studying evidence at the scene to develop conclusions about the cause of the accident and how it unfolded. Reconstruction may reveal a host of factors that led to the accident, including:

  • Speeding
  • Running stop signs and red lights
  • Errors in turning and lane changes
  • Loss of driver control due to the failure of a car part or a vehicle defect
  • Dangerous road conditions
  • Visibility issues

Reconstructionists may submit written reports and/or develop 3D models to demonstrate how the accident occurred. These 3D models often make for compelling evidence in accident claims that proceed to trial.

“Accident reconstruction is a valuable procedure in discovering what you, your lawyer, and a jury would need to know about an accident. Since accident reconstruction takes a scientific approach, it is a pretty reliable source of data.”

Patrick Daniel, attorney and founder of Patrick Daniel Law

What Do Accident Reconstructionists Do?

Reconstruction experts employ a number of sophisticated methodologies to figure out what elements played a part in the origin and seriousness of an accident. Key aspects of reconstructing an accident may include:

  • Thorough inspection of the vehicle or vehicles involved in the accident
  • Analysis of vehicle and crash site images
  • Review of the traffic collision report, deposition transcripts, witness statements, crash test reports, published studies, and other documents
  • Evaluation of victims’ medical records to determine the consistency of injuries with the available evidence

If applicable, accident reconstructionists may also review information captured by the vehicle’s event data recorder (also known as the “black box”) to assess the events leading up to and during the crash. Black box data is a fixture of investigating aviation accidents, but airplanes and helicopters are not the only kinds of vehicles with onboard computers. Electronic data may also be crucial in truck accident claims and other types of collisions.

Accident Expert Qualifications

Accident reconstruction is a multidisciplinary field. There is no college- or graduate-level degree specifically for accident reconstruction (although organizations such as the Society of Automotive Engineers offer certificates in accident reconstruction). As such, an expert’s qualifications boil down to real-world training, knowledge, and experience.

An accident reconstructionist must be an expert in car dynamics, photogrammetry, physics, mathematics, engineering, and computer applications, such as simulation tools. In addition, they should have a thorough knowledge of accident investigation (and may have law enforcement experience) in order to be seen as credible as possible in the courtroom.

When Will an Accident Reconstructionist Be Part of My Case?

Reports, testimony, and animations from reconstruction experts are particularly useful in resolving disputes concerning the cause of an accident. Therefore, our lawyers often enlist accident reconstructionists to aid in accident cases involving issues of complex or contested liability.

Some of the ways an accident reconstruction expert may be able to help with your claim include:

  • Identifying the specific errors committed by the at-fault driver that led to the accident (thus establishing liability).
  • Determining how a defective motor vehicle or part contributed to the crash (potentially entitling you to compensation through a product liability claim).
  • Evaluating dangerous road conditions and their role in the accident; government entities may be liable for accidents caused by poor design and/or negligent maintenance of roads.

Reconstruction of the accident can also help protect your right to compensation if the defendant(s) in the case argue that you are partially at fault for the crash. Findings by a reconstruction expert can support your claim against the other driver and additional liable parties, improving your ability to recover full damages.

Start Building Your Accident Claim Today

Insurance companies and other defendants in accident claims often have their own teams of reconstruction experts. Ultimately, the goal of these reconstructionists is to help their employers protect the bottom line by reducing payouts and disputing liability for accidents. Given the money and resources these parties have, it is important to have both qualified legal guidance and compelling expert testimony on your side.

Patrick Daniel Law has extensive experience handling accident claims. As part of our Strategic, Meticulous, and Merciless approach to personal injury law, we have forged relationships with leading experts in accident reconstruction and other disciplines. Our attorneys handle all aspects of your case, from diligently gathering crucial evidence to enlisting testimony from qualified experts to pursuing the compensation you deserve.

Please call (713) 999-6666 today for a free case review. Our Houston car accident lawyers serve clients throughout Texas.

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