Most accidents happen in a blur. They’re traumatic, and as a result, victims often have trouble recalling what happened. They may also remember things differently and provide conflicting statements.
This means that determining fault in an auto accident case is not always simple. Unless car accident lawyers have a clear understanding of the events surrounding the crash, they may struggle to establish liability and seek an adequate settlement.
This is where accident reconstruction experts come in.
These specialists can offer better insight into an accident case, explaining each incident step-by-step. Their testimonies work as a valuable tool for car accident attorneys on both sides of the fence.
Let’s take a look at what accident construction is, the associated expenses, and how a competent accident reconstruction expert can help build your case.
What is Accident Reconstruction?
As the name implies, accident reconstruction involves ‘reconstructing’ a vehicular accident. It’s a scientific approach that uses physics, engineering, and other mediums to recreate the scene of a collision. These specialists weigh the factors that may have contributed to the crash, including weather, visibility, and speed.
In the initial steps, reconstruction specialists work with known data, such as the automobile’s final rest position, damages incurred, and preliminary evidence. Then, they slowly work in reverse, combining the proof with relevant information to draw a conclusive picture.
When done correctly, accident reconstruction can reveal a lot regarding severity and driver behavior, among other things.
Usually, car accident lawyers recommend accident reconstruction for personal injury and fatality cases. They’re also essential in situations with incomplete or missing proof.
Note that accident reconstruction isn’t solely geared towards assigning blame. It also exposes the fallacies that caused the crash in the first place. Things like human error, insufficient training, and negligence can have far-reaching consequences and must be dealt with quickly.
Accident investigations can:
- Help more people understand the various elements that play a part in an accident.
- Encourage concerned authorities to take corrective actions to prevent future losses.
- Reveal more information and discoveries to reduce risk.
What Does a Reconstruction Expert Do?
A reconstruction specialist’s primary responsibility is to fill the gaps in an accident case by examining a wide range of variables.
On the route to detailing the incident, they may seek answers to the following questions:
- Where did the vehicle halt after the crash?
- How damaged was it?
- Was the driver’s vision affected by external factors?
- What was the weather like when the crash took place?
- Did the driver apply brakes before the accident?
- Were the anti-lock brakes activated?
- Was the driver under the influence?
- What was the steering angle?
- Were the engine lights on before the crash?
- At what angle was the vehicle impacted?
- What was the engine’s speed before the crash?
These are only a few of the possible considerations. The reconstructionist may also look at other factors that depend on the specific incident and your personal injury lawyer’s inputs.
The reconstructionist might also reenact your accident through a computer program to reveal how it may have occurred in real-time.
During their investigation, specialists also review:
- Eyewitness testimonies.
- Police reports.
- Damage assessment.
- Collision ratings.
- Pictures of the scene.
- Medical histories.
When Do You Need Accident Reconstruction?
Every accident is unique. While some crashes have a clear at-fault party, others may involve multiple people and unclear conditions. In such cases, a reconstructionist can help represent your side of the story effectively and accurately.
From a legal point of view, here are a few instances in which your car accident attorney may bring in an accident reconstructionist, including when:
- There are no available eyewitnesses to your accident.
- Most of the information is contradictory.
- The vehicles suffered serious damage.
- The crash resulted in a fatality.
- Your opponent has appointed an accident reconstructionist.
- The roads were compromised.
- The vehicle was defective.
- There’s missing evidence.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire an Accident Reconstructionist?
On average, hiring an accident reconstructionist can cost you anywhere between $30 to $45 an hour. The exact amount will depend on your legal team, the complexity of your case, and the scope of work.
For example, in case the reconstructionist has to analyze multiple depositions, the final bill is likely to be on the higher side.
That said, if you’re working with a reputable personal injury law firm, you may not have to foot a separate bill for an accident reconstructionist. Most car accident law firms will front all costs for their clients, including hiring experts to build the best case possible.
How Can Accident Reconstruction Help Your Case?
Accidents are unplanned, undesired, and can leave a trail of destruction in their wake. Physical trauma aside, automobile collisions can open the floodgates to financial troubles, including countless medical expenses.
As a victim of an accident, you have every right to seek compensation for your injuries.
However, not all cases are open and shut. Remember that the defendants will do everything in their power to avoid blame and hold you responsible.
No matter how apologetic the perpetrator is at first, their story may change over time – so don’t make assumptions. They may even claim that you did not attempt to avoid the accident at all or that you are at fault.
Under such circumstances, an accident reconstructionist’s report will support your claim against the liable parties, hence ensuring you recover full damages.
Let’s look at a few other benefits of accident reconstruction.
1) Get a More Accurate Picture of the Accident
It’s normal to not remember the precise moment of your accident. The human brain in survival mode is unreliable, causing each victim to remember things differently, or sometimes not at all.
For obvious reasons, these uncertainties are detrimental to your case. Unless your car accident lawyer can prove that the other party is at fault, your claim might be denied.
Fortunately, accident reconstruction can help. Accident reconstruction is a detailed, scientific process, and the results are based purely on objective principles. Therefore, reconstructionists are capable of quantifying and gauging the specifics of a collision far more accurately than any layperson.
Additionally, an accident reconstructionist may use several types of hard evidence to back their findings, such as:
- Pictures and sizes of skid marks.
- Any defective safety equipment.
- GPS units that display speed, braking, and location.
- Cell phone records to show if the other driver was on the phone.
2) Clarify Contesting Eyewitness Testimonies
Although eyewitness accounts are crucial, they’re not always reliable. An eyewitness’s perception of the events may be tainted by several intermingling forces.
For example, if two people viewed the crash from two different angles, they’ll have vastly different opinions about how things went down. These inconsistencies may muddy the waters further, reducing your chances of winning the case.
With accident reconstruction, the jurors get an unbiased picture of the crash. The report may also address these contesting statements and the reasons behind them, making it easier for your car accident attorney to achieve a favorable verdict.
Bear in mind that the defendants and their insurance companies will use every trick in the book to invalidate your personal injury claim.
With an accident reconstruction expert, you’ll have a clear, unbiased narrative in your arsenal. Their statement may be just the thing to bring you the victory you deserve!
Have you or your loved one recently been involved in a car accident? The car accident lawyers at Carlson Injury Law are here to help. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our clients, and do everything in our power to seek justice on their behalf.
For more information, please schedule a consultation with us today.