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Ideally, car accident scenes could remain preserved for days, weeks, or even months, if needed, after they occur. That would give police and lawyers plenty of time to scrutinize what happened and to more precisely determine who was at fault. But roads are public property, and crash scenes are quickly cleared to allow traffic to begin moving again.
Despite typically not having access to actual crash scenes, our lawyers instead have access to the next best thing: reconstructions of our clients’ crash scenes. As explained by Plaintiff Magazine, “accident reconstruction is the process of using scientific methodology to determine the circumstances, mechanics, and contributing factors associated with a collision.”
Car accident reconstructions can answer many questions police, lawyers, and insurance companies have after crashes by presenting evidence that may otherwise be unavailable. When we work with accident reconstruction experts, we use the following information and evidence to boost our clients’ chances of getting full compensation.
Examining the damage sustained by the vehicles involved can provide crucial insights into how the collision occurred. It can help determine the point of impact, the angle of impact, and the forces involved. Different types of damage, such as crumple zones, dents, and deformations, can also indicate how the vehicles interacted during the crash.
The presence and characteristics of skid marks and tire prints on the road surface can help reconstruct the sequence of events leading up to the crash. Skid marks can reveal when and where braking occurred, and tire prints can indicate vehicle movements.
By analyzing data from the vehicle's event data recorder (EDR) or black box—found in almost all new vehicles, investigators can determine factors such as the vehicle's speed before and during the crash, accelerator and brake application, and whether airbags deployed. This data can be critical in understanding the dynamics of the collision.
The condition of the road, including factors like weather, lighting, road surface quality, and the presence of traffic signs or signals, can all contribute to the circumstances of a crash. Crash reconstructions involve examining these factors to assess their role in the accident.
Eyewitnesses can provide valuable information about the events leading up to the crash, the behavior of the drivers involved, and the sequence of events. Witness statements can help corroborate or challenge other evidence.
Visual documentation of the crash scene, vehicle positions, and damage are important evidence in crash reconstructions. Photographs and videos can provide a detailed record of the accident scene and help reconstruct events accurately.
Debris from the crash, such as broken glass, vehicle parts, and personal belongings, can provide additional information about the accident's dynamics and both the point and severity of impact.
Crash reconstruction experts often use complex and sophisticated computer simulations and modeling software to recreate the accident. This can help in understanding the physics of the collision, the forces involved, and the likely sequence of events, which can help determine which driver was most likely to have caused the crash.
In cases involving injuries or fatalities, autopsy reports and medical records can provide information about the cause and extent of injuries, which can help reconstruct the crash and its consequences.
There are often major blind spots and missing pieces in even the most well-documented crashes. For example, crashes captured on dashcams or traffic cameras typically show only a narrow view of what happened. They also may not accurately convey the weather and road conditions at the time of the crash.
Accident reconstructions can give police, insurance companies, and lawyers more complete views of crashes to better understand how and why they happened.
At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we have a strong relationship with crash reconstruction experts in Ohio who can recreate crash scenes with extreme accuracy. Their reconstruction data helps us prove our clients weren’t at fault for their crashes while also pinpointing exactly what the at-fault drivers did to cause the accidents.
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