My Love Of The Law

Reconstruction Experts: What You Should Know

by Alan Medina

Have you ever had an accident and when asked what happened realized that you just weren't sure? That's not uncommon. Even short-term emotional stress and physical trauma can make it difficult to remember exactly what happened during an accident. That's when an accident reconstruction expert may have to step in, in order to help build your personal injury case. Learn more about these experts, and what they can do for you.

What Is An Accident Reconstruction Expert?

Accident reconstruction is a broad field, with areas focused on vehicle accidents, construction accidents, medical equipment failure and more. The expert's goal is to determine the events that caused the accident and what exactly happened during the accident. 

For example, an expert might be called to determine whether or not a car flipped over only once or several times. He or she might be asked to help determine what others would have seen, based on where they were standing when the accident happened, or how rain and poor street lighting combined to cause the accident.

How Does An Accident Reconstruction Experts Make Their Determinations?

Reconstruction experts gather their evidence from all the available sources, including skid marks, photos from the scene of the accident, witness statements, weather reports, and so on. In a car accident, they may look at the size, weight, and tread of a car's tires, as well as the type of road surface on which the accident occurred. They also draw on their extensive knowledge of physics, momentum, and engineering.

Reconstruction experts also use their expertise in "human factors," which includes information on things like how fast a human being can (or should be able to) respond to something, For example, if you're a pedestrian who was injured by a car, could you have jumped out of the way? Was it even possible for you to avoid the accident? Did the driver have enough time to respond to your presence that an accident could have been avoided? A reconstruction expert can provide answers to these questions.

How Can A Reconstruction Expert Improve Your Case?

Reconstruction experts are also skilled at presenting their findings to judges and juries in clear, understandable formats. Some of them use computer or video simulations in order to demonstrate complex concepts of velocity and force in a way that's easy to comprehend. In fact, a large part of the reconstruction expert's value to your case depends on his or her skill in explaining any findings to others.

How Do You Know If You Need A Reconstruction Expert?

Generally speaking, a reconstruction expert is needed any time there is doubt about the cause of an accident, especially if there complicated issues involved, like a multi-car highway accident. A reconstruction expert may be the only way to really establish who is really at fault in an accident like that, when there are many people involved.

You may also need an expert if the other side is alleging that you're equally or more at fault for the accident, because in most states that can limit your recovery for your damages (or destroy your case).

Not every personal injury lawsuit requires the use of a reconstruction expert - especially if the defendant is clearly at fault and there are no complex issues involved. However, if an attorney (such as one from Palmetto Injury Lawyers) suggests that expert testimony is involved, you should realize that he or she may be the key to a full recovery for your damages.