In many car, truck, and motorcycle accident cases liability can be proved based on the testimony of witnesses, the police, the damage to the vehicles, and photographs of the accident site. In some cases, though, it’s not clear who caused the accident and how the accident happened. If liability can’t be determined, then an experienced Tennessee accident lawyer may enlist the aid of a professional accident reconstruction professional.
When an accident reconstruction expert may be required?
Accident reconstruction experts may be called to help determine how the accident happened and who’s responsible in the following scenarios:
- Multiple vehicle crashes where an initial crashes leads to more collisions as cars and trucks try to avoid other vehicles
- When tractors spill their cargo and it’s necessary to show why the cargo spilled and how it spilled
- When vehicles are totaled making it hard to show how they were struck
- When victims die, making it essential to determine the cause without relying solely on testimony of the victims
- When the scene of the accident is repaired before the investigation takes place
- When the failure to properly design the roadway caused the accident
- If a product defect caused a vehicle’s brakes, steering column, fuel lines, or other parts to malfunction
Ultimately, the decision to enlist the aid of an accident reconstruction professional is made on a case by case basis.
What does the accident reconstruction professional do?
Accident reconstruction professionals are usually trained engineers. Often, these professionals will use computer graphics programs to help show how the accident occurred. These professionals examine:
- The scene of the accident including the lanes of travel, road signs, and traffic controls
- The damage to the vehicles
- The police report
- Any videos or photographs of the accident
- Any debris at the accident site and any skid marks
The reconstruction engineers will study any black box data that may be available. Since the mid-1990s, many vehicles are equipped with air bag modules, also called black boxes, which provides information about seatbelt use, the speed of vehicles, brake use, and other statistics.
The reconstruction professionals may also review the medical records of anyone involved in the accident.
The reconstruction professional will seek to determine many physical events including:
- How the vehicles moved prior to the accident and after the collision
- The speeds of the vehicles and any turns or movements they made
- The ability of any vehicles to avoid the collision
- The physical forces on impact
- Any visibility issues
- Who was wearing their seat belt
- Whether lighting was an issue and, if so, how it was an issue
- Whether brakes and anti-lock brakes were used and when
- If cruise control was in operation
- How the bodies moved after impact
- How children moved and what restrains were used
- Did a truck or semi jackknife or rollover and why
Additionally, the accident reconstruction experts will conduct other tests and make additional analysis if pedestrians or bicycle riders were involved in the crash. Likewise, they will do additional work if trucks or buses were involved.
If you or someone you love was involved in a serious or deadly car, truck, or vehicle accident, the Chattanooga injury lawyers at Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law have the experience and resources to help you get justice. We are dedicated to determining how the accident happened and holding responsible parties accountable. We fight for injured drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicycle riders, and the families of deceased victims in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, and in North Georgia. Please call us at 423-799-3532 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation.