If you have been involved in a traumatic accident, chances are that you have relived the moment repeatedly in your mind. However, it is possible that you may not recollect every detail, including exactly why and how the accident happened. The human mind is not always an accurate recorder of incidents, particularly when the moment is frightening or causes serious injuries or deaths. Unfortunately, the adrenaline rush and fear you felt during the accident can make it difficult to accurately retell the events as they occurred.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car wreck where the circumstances leading to the accident are unclear, it can be challenging to recover full compensation. To get a clear picture of how and why your accident happened, a car crash attorney can call upon an accident reconstructionist. Accident reconstructionists are experienced in using forensic methods to recreate the scene and circumstances of the accident to determine what caused the crash. Their testimony can prove critical in cases where both drivers remember the events differently and in situations where one or more of the victims perished in the accident and cannot tell their side of the story. If you have questions about whether your case could benefit from the skills of an accident reconstructionist, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm today.
How Do Accident Reconstructionists Arrive at Their Conclusions?
Accident reconstructionists visit the crash site to examine physical evidence, such as skid marks and property damage, to determine the cause of the crash. They may also use photographs taken after the accident to calculate the path and velocity of each vehicle involved. Even the position of street signs, the presence of road features, and other factors in the environment, such as the angle of the sun, are crucial for the accident reconstructionist to note because they may have played a role in the accident.
A reconstructionist will also thoroughly investigate the vehicles involved to ensure there were no manufacturing defects that could have led to the crash. Some cars also contain recordable airbag modules, which may hold valuable information the reconstructionist can use. In addition to the more hands-on aspects of the investigation, reconstructionists will also carefully pore over all reports related to the crash in their search for clues. Important documents they may research include:
- Witness statements
- Police reports
- Victims’ medical records
- Crash test reports
- Published studies of similar types of accidents
How Does an Accident Reconstructionist Present Their Findings?
The reconstructionist’s knowledge of engineering, physics, mathematics, car dynamics, and simulation tools allows them to work backward from the final result of the crash to learn what occurred and why. After the reconstructionist analyzes the available data, they can present a report to the court revealing what happened. In the reconstruction, the expert will explain what factors influenced the accident, including:
- Driver errors or negligence
- Hazardous road conditions
- Poorly designed roads or intersections
- Improperly maintained highways
- Faulty or defective motor vehicle components
- Negligent acts by pedestrians or bicyclists
The report may take the form of a written document but can also be presented as a 3D model or video simulation of the accident. Visual evidence like this can be highly compelling in a trial setting.
How Can an Accident Reconstructionist Help Me With My Case?
Knowing the truth about the car crash is essential in a personal injury case. While the other driver may have appeared friendly at the time of the crash, they can turn into fierce opponents in court. They could contradict your story to make it appear you were at fault.
Since Texas is a modified comparative fault state, ensuring that fault is correctly apportioned in your accident is critical to your ability to recover the maximum amount for your damages. Your total compensation will be reduced proportionately by the percentage of fault assigned to you. If you are found 51% or more at fault for the crash, you will be barred from collecting any compensation. In many cases where the factors leading to the collision are unclear, insurance companies will try to shift the blame for the accident onto the other party to decrease or eliminate their own liability for damages.
Personal injury lawyers often call upon accident reconstructionists in cases where liability is contested, the accident is complex, or the cause of the crash is unknown. With an accident reconstructionist on your side, you can have the physical evidence to prove what really happened. This information can make all the difference to your claim.
When Should You Consult With a Car Accident Attorney?
If you think you may need the services of an accident reconstructionist, you should speak with an experienced car crash lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you find a trusted professional to recreate the crash scene and bring the at-fault party to justice. Timely action is critical in every personal injury case because the statute of limitations on filing a car accident claim in Texas is usually two years from the date of the accident and can even be less in some situations. Car accident reconstructions take time, so it is important to begin the process promptly to ensure you meet all deadlines.
Taking on a lawsuit on your own is the last thing you need when you are already recovering from your injuries. You deserve excellent legal counsel to get you through this trying time. Our lawyers have helped countless car crash victims get the compensation they are owed. We can help you determine whether an accident reconstructionist is necessary in your case, and we will work tirelessly to defend you in court.
You can rely on the knowledge and experience of our skilled car crash attorneys. Call Shariff Law Firm, PLLC today for a free case evaluation at 713-244-8392.