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What is an accident reconstruction?


Collision reconstructions are different from collision investigations. A collision reconstructionist is a person qualified to reconstruct how a collision occurred using scientific principles to formulate an opinion.

Collision reconstructionists will typically visit the scene of a collision and investigate all of the vehicles involved in the collision. They collect evidence including photographs taken at the scene of the collision by police investigators as well as any video recordings, if any. They collect measurements at the scene of the crash and review eyewitness testimony and depositions. They consider a number of factors when making a determination as to the cause of a crash including, but not limited to, braking distances, the speed of the vehicles were traveling the leading up to the collision and upon impact; engine rpm, cruise control, turn signals, brake lights, head lamps, and the anti-lock brakes. They examine the length of skidmarks at the scene of the collision, and the amount of damage or "crush" each vehicle sustained. The length of a skid mark and the amount of crush a vehicle sustained can help determine the original speed of the vehicle.

Collision reconstructionists will also evaluate the condition of the road surface to determine braking distances given the "co-efficient of friction" at the time of the collision to calculate the stopping distance given road conditionas at the time of the collision and to determine if there was a of traction due to black ice, road debris or other road contamination present, if any, on the road.

Collision reconstructionists may also review data from an event data recorder for evidence as to the original speed of the vehicle leading up to a crash.

Collision reconstruction analysis include gathering and evaluating the evidence and data collected at the scene of a collision and then create possible hypotheses and models relating to a collision. Some use various types of collision reconstruction software that has been revolutionizing to analyze a crash. They also use computer aided design (CAD) programs, vehicle specification databases and momentum and energy analysis programs, photgrammetry software and collision simulators.

Oftentimes collision reconstructionists and forensic engineers will compile a report and later render expert testimony at trial concerning their opinions regarding the causation of a collision. They oftentims will prepare forensic animation, diagrams and drawings to illustrate their testimony and help educate the jury as to what happened in a particular case.

Collision reconstruction can be used to debunk the testimony of witnesses where the testimony rendered is inconsistent with the rudiments of simple physics.

For additional information regarding vehicle collisions go to http://www.mortonlawyers.com/library/auto-accidents/ or http://www.mortonlawyers.com/library/trucking-big-rig-accidents/.   If you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to call Boise Accident Attorney Alan Morton at 208.344.5555 or toll free at 888.716.8021 or complete the online contact form at http://www.mortonlawyers.com/contact.cfm.  He would be happy to take your question.

Alan Morton
Advocate for Justice/Trial Lawyer