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Accident Scene Reconstruction—Why It’s Important to You

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Posted On 04.12.12 by in ISSUES

Have you been involved in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident? If so, you know that perceptions can get distorted. You may have felt a bump and heard the thud of the impact. You may have seen a shadow or blur of another vehicle come into your line of vision before you realize that the vehicle hit you. You may have lost consciousness or be in shock. At the very least, you know something serious has happened, and concern and worry begin to fill your mind.

At a time like this, confusion is likely to rule the day. Added to your own uncertainty and worries about what just happened in the accident, there is the other driver or drivers, and when the police arrive at the scene another point of view is added to the mix. While we all hope and trust that the police officer on the scene is going to do a good job of recording the important facts of the accident in the police accident report, sometimes that is just not the case.

The police officer in charge of your accident scene has many things on his or her mind–foremost of these is the physical safety of you and anyone else involved in the accident. Secondly, he or she is concerned about the safety of other drivers on the road who will be coming upon the accident scene. It is the police officer’s job to stabilize the accident scene, call for backup if needed, and get medical care for those injured. That’s why details that you may realize you need when determining whom was at fault in the accident, such as photos of the damaged vehicles and their resting locations, as well as photos and measurements of skid marks and gouges in the road caused by the vehicles, may not be recorded in a way that will be helpful to you later. Indeed, crucial photos and measurements may not have been recorded at all.

This is why you need to have a trained expert perform an accident scene reconstruction. The police report may be incomplete, witness accounts may differ, and the other driver or drivers may be confused or even less-than-honest about whom was at fault in the accident. It is in your best interest to have an expert perform an accident scene reconstruction, gathering important evidence from the accident, such as photos of the damage done to each vehicle including contact locations and measurements, paint scratches and locations, photos of the roadway including skid marks and possible gouges to the road, the presence or absence of guardrails, and other road features including weather and lighting conditions at the time of the accident. Even the width of tire treads is examined to be sure that skid marks were indeed made by a vehicle in the accident and not at some other time. A scale diagram of the accident scene is then made in order to determine how the events played out and who is at fault. Forces of impact and even vehicle speeds can be determined using mathematical formulas and the laws of physics.

Our firm uses experienced accident scene experts to reconstruct what actually happened in your accident. But because the necessary evidence as to the vehicles’ damages and conditions of the roadway can be lost or destroyed over time, it is important to contact our lawyers as soon as possible after the accident so that our experts can preserve and reclaim this valuable evidence for their examination.

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