January 18, 2022
How Can an Accident Reconstructionist Help My Case?
Most adults with any driving experience have heard of and likely have seen the popular syndicated television program CSI or one of its many spinoffs. The general premises behind every episode is the use of forensic science to solve crimes.
That is the best way to describe what an accident reconstructionist does. The investigation might even result in criminal charges if a motorist or a third party acted in a criminal manner.
Although the accident might be a true crime scene, an accident reconstructionist focuses efforts on solving the causes and circumstances of a car accident. An accident reconstructionist can use forensic science to determine the speeds of vehicles, angles of collision, and other factors that led to the accident.
Professional Qualifications for an Accident Reconstructionist
An accident reconstructionist is a certified expert in accident investigations and could testify and provide useful evidence in criminal prosecutions and civil court cases. Pennsylvania requires qualified candidates to successfully complete several college-level forensics investigation courses to earn certification as an accident reconstructionist.
Most candidates are experienced police officers who earn certification as an accident reconstructionist. That means most accident reconstructionists have a lot of experience with car accidents. The combination of training, education, and experience makes an accident reconstructionist’s professional opinion very compelling in disputed accidents.
How an Accident Reconstructionist Does the Job
An accident reconstructionist will visit the accident scene to gather information on speed limits, traffic controls, the road’s general layout, and other pertinent factual information. The reconstructionist can measure distances traveled and length of brake mark that might have been made. The reconstructionist can assess damage to light poles or any items that might have gotten in the way during the accident.
An accident reconstructionist also can view all vehicles involved in the accident. The reconstructionist will examine the types of damage sustained and their extent to help determine angles of impact and approximate speeds. In addition, accessing any available video or photos of the accident helps to affirm the paths of travel for all vehicles involved.
An accident reconstructionist gathers evidence and applies science to provide a professional, third-party opinion regarding the cause and effect of your accident. The reconstructionist’s professional opinion carries a lot of weight in a court case and could overrule a police report and especially an insurance adjuster’s decision.
Common Situations Needing an Accident Reconstructionist
Many situations could cause investigators and accident survivors to use the services of a certified accident reconstructionist. Whenever a single-vehicle accident results in a fatality, an accident reconstructionist could help to determine the cause. That could help to determine if dangerous road conditions or a third party somehow caused a fatal accident.
If road conditions caused an accident, third-party liability comes into play. The accident reconstructionist takes road conditions into account and could investigate any roadwork that might have occurred on the date of the accident that might have played a role in causing it. If catastrophic injuries occur and there is no clearly liable driver, an accident reconstructionist could help to determine how the accident occurred.
Any situation that casts doubt on the causes of an accident could benefit from the work of an accident reconstructionist. From vehicle condition to potential third-party liability, an accident reconstructionist can help to reveal the true causes of accidents.
How an Accident Reconstructionist Could Help Your Case
Pennsylvania gives you the choice of choosing traditional auto insurance coverage in which at-fault drivers are held liable for causing accidents. Pennsylvania also gives you the option of choosing no-fault auto insurance for your vehicle.
If you have no-fault insurance, your insurer will cover damages and medical costs up to policy limits with no questions asked. However, if you choose a traditional auto insurance plan, then you might need the help of an accident reconstructionist after an accident.
An accident reconstructionist is an unbiased third party with no interest in the case other than trying to reveal the underlying facts and causes of a particular accident. As a certified expert in reconstructing the events of an accident, the evidence reports and court testimony of an accident reconstructionist carries a lot of weight with judges and juries. That can help accident survivors to win cases when the evidence clearly is in their favor.
An accident reconstructionist could help your case whenever there are:
- No witnesses, video, or other evidence regarding which driver caused an accident
- Conflicting stories among drivers and other accident survivors
- Mechanical failures, defective parts, or bad road conditions that factored into the accident
- Wrongful death claims arising from car accidents
If you are in an accident caused by another driver who lied to the police and insurer, you might wind up getting the blame and bill for damages. Once the accident reconstructionist has all the facts, any mistakes or falsehoods that might have gotten into a police accident report could be corrected.
Pennsylvania also is a comparative liability state that applies levels of liability when determining settlement amounts for damages from an accident. If another driver mostly caused and accident but you are considered partly responsible, any award you might obtain could be reduced. It could be lowered by a percentage that is equal to your liability in causing an accident. If you are more than 50 percent liable, you receive no settlement.
An accident reconstructionist can help to determine comparative liability. If the other motorist is blaming you for an accident, the reconstructionist might be able to determine at least partial liability against that driver.
Montgomery County Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C., Help to Build Strong Cases
If you are injured in a car accident and need the help of an experienced attorney and possibly an accident reconstructionist, the Montgomery County car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C., could help you to build a compelling case and help secure the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us at 267-861-7100 or visit our website to set up a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients in Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Norristown.