What to Know About Accident Reconstruction in Personal Injury

Posted On September 20, 2023 Personal Injury

When someone else’s actions cause you to suffer an injury with significant economic damages as well as pain and suffering, that person is responsible for reimbursing you for those damages. This is typically accomplished through a personal injury claim filed against the insurance company of the party at fault for the injury. In some circumstances, the claim becomes a lawsuit if the insurance company denies a payout or seriously undervalues the claim. But before any insurance company will consider paying out on a claim, the claimant must prove the other party liable for the damages. This requires showing negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing resulting in an injury through a preponderance of the evidence.

Sometimes an injury victim has ample evidence of fault, such as dash cam video, security camera video, photographs, and eyewitnesses. In some circumstances, however, this type of concrete evidence may be lacking. An accident reconstruction can provide the evidence needed for a successful claim or lawsuit.

What Does an Accident Reconstruction Expert Do?

While we’d like to think that the police do a thorough investigation of every accident, the truth is that police agencies focus their resources on criminal investigations, not accident investigations. In most cases, an accident reconstruction expert will review the police report or accident report, and then take the investigation further by doing the following:

  • Examine the accident in reverse to rebuild a complete picture of what happened before, during, and immediately after the accident
  • Visit the scene of the accident to document anything relevant, including an intersection, traffic signs and signals, skid marks, and debris
  • Inspect each involved vehicle to identify impact points by examining the damage
  • Review any eyewitness testimony and other evidence in the original police report
  • Calculate each vehicle’s rate of speed and trajectory to uncover the events leading up to the accident
  • Use the gathered data to determine the direction, speed, collision points, and force of impact in the accident
  • Rebuild the entire accident scene through careful calculations, digital 3D models, and simulation programs

Collision angles, velocity, driver visibility, and other factors in an accident help determine causation. Accident reconstruction is invaluable in car accident claims but isn’t limited to car accidents. These experts also reconstruct other incidents leading to personal injuries.

Learn more about the basics of accident reconstruction here.

What Kinds of Personal Injury Cases Benefit From an Accident Reconstruction?

While car accident cases are the most common personal injury claims requiring accident reconstruction specialists, other types of personal injury claims can also benefit from this type of evidence. Reconstruction experts also work on injury claims including:

  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Fires
  • Plane crashes
  • Defective product injuries
  • Bridge collapses
  • Balcony collapses

A reconstruction expert’s use of mathematics, engineering, and physics as well as a working knowledge of 3D imaging and simulation programs all contribute to the reconstruction expert’s final product, which is often convincing evidence showing exactly how an accident occurred. This can help claimants prove liability on the part of the person at fault in an accident or determine each driver’s percentage of fault. Multi-car accidents and chain reaction accidents often benefit from an advanced 3D reconstruction to break down the sequence of events in the accident and determine each driver’s percentage of liability.