Sometimes an attorney can validate a claim with a police report, pictures of the damaged vehicles and the victim’s medical records.
In more complicated cases, an attorney may need to gather additional evidence to validate a claim. One example of when this may happen is if the claim could cost the insurance company a lot of money. Even though the victim may have a strong case, the insurance company may deny the claim or refuse to offer a fair settlement.
One piece of additional evidence an attorney may need is a report from an accident reconstruction expert. If the case goes to court, the attorney may need the expert to testify to help prove aspects of the victim’s case.
Below, our Harrisburg vehicle accident lawyers explain more about accident reconstruction, including how it can benefit a hard-to-prove claim. If you have questions about your claim or have had problems dealing with the insurance company, give us a call today. We have been assisting car crash victims for more than three decades and have secured millions on their behalf.
While some firms always settle, we are prepared to take cases to court. Our goal is to secure full compensation for your damages to help you move forward.
Defining Accident Reconstruction
Accident reconstruction is a process used by experts who often have training in things like engineering, math, forensics and physics. They should also possess knowledge of things like car dynamics and photogrammetry.
These experts apply their skills and knowledge to recreate the crash and determine why it happened. They often use computer models to simulate the crash based on the information they gather about the accident. For example, they may use the damage to the vehicles and details of the victims’ injuries to build a computer model.
Many accident reconstruction experts previously worked in law enforcement, giving them significant insight about accident investigation. This is vital because accident reconstruction experts need to be seen as credible, particularly if a case goes to court. Even with the relevant education and training, juries may question an expert’s conclusions if he or she lacks real-world experience.
The Process of Accident Reconstruction
Accident reconstruction experts begin the process by gathering information about the crash. They can then use this information to create a computer model of the crash to help them draw conclusions about why the crash occurred.
They may gather a variety of information, such as:
- Police report
- Relevant medical records of those injured
- Data from the black boxes of involved vehicles (many newer vehicles have these devices)
- Crash test reports on the involved vehicles
- Statements from those who witnessed the crash
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Pictures of the vehicles
Reconstruction experts may also do their own visual inspection of the vehicles and take pictures and/or notes. They may visit the scene to inspect skid marks and road debris. They may also review studies of the brakes on both vehicles.
After gathering the information that they need, they can build a computer model and start to gather additional information about the crash, such as:
- Angle of impact
- Speed of the vehicles at impact
- Force of impact
- And more
This information may help them to determine what was the likely cause of the crash, such as distracted driving, running a red light or stop sign, violating another driver’s right of way, poor visibility before the accident happened, violations of other traffic laws, etc.
For example, if there were no skid marks left by the other driver, he or she may have been distracted. Typically, drivers slam on the brakes when they realize they are about to hit another car. Not hitting the brakes is often a sign of distraction. It could also be a sign the driver was speeding and simply did not have time to hit the brakes before impact.
The angle of impact can tell an accident reconstruction expert the directions both cars were traveling before the crash, possibly indicating who had the right of way.
How Accident Reconstruction May Benefit Your Case
Accident reconstruction may be needed if there is no video footage of the crash or other strong evidence showing what happened. Even though Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, fault may become an issue if you exhaust the limits of your no-fault insurance coverage.
It can be difficult to determine fault if both drivers were severely injured in the crash and do not remember much of what happened. A lack of credible witnesses or different stories from both sides could also make it hard to assess fault.
Accident reconstruction may also be beneficial if the insurance company disputes the cause of your injuries. Sometimes insurers try to claim your injuries were caused by something besides the crash.
If the insurance company is not offering full compensation for your damages, accident reconstruction could help prove the severity of your injuries.
The need for accident reconstruction is something that should be assessed by an experienced attorney. He or she will know when bringing in an expert may be appropriate. A qualified attorney that has helped many crash victims will also have an in-depth understanding of what it takes to validate a case.
At Schmidt Kramer, we are committed to aggressively pursuing the compensation you need. We are prepared to manage every step of the legal process.
Schmidt Kramer is Here to Help. Call to Learn More
We know crash victims often have questions about their legal options. They may be unsure about the potential worth of their claim or whether they should accept a settlement from the insurance company, however low.
During this difficult time, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced legal professional. At Schmidt Kramer, our firm is dedicated to helping injured victims. We are ready to work tirelessly to secure full compensation for your damages.
There are no upfront fees for our services and the initial consultation is free of charge. That means there is no risk in contacting us.
Call (717) 510-1770 today to discuss your situation.