Memory can be tricky – especially after a traumatic event such as a car accident. This is why the attorneys of Powers & Santola, LLP, often turn to forensics to determine what really happened in a car accident instead of relying solely on the police accident report and witness accounts.
Accident reconstruction experts are engineers and other trained professionals. Our car accident attorneys will consult with them during the investigation of a case. We can also call upon them to provide testimony if a motor vehicle accident case goes to trial.
Our work with accident reconstruction experts is just one of the many legal services we can provide if you or a loved one has been harmed in a car crash through no fault of your own in Albany, Syracuse or elsewhere in New York. If you would like to learn more, call Powers & Santola, LLP, or reach us online to schedule a free review of your case.
What is Car Accident Reconstruction?
Reconstructing a car accident involves gathering and analyzing a variety of technical data related to the speed and direction of movement of vehicles before, after and at the point of impact in a collision. The analysis is based on principles of physics and engineering.
A car accident reconstruction would involve recording, testing, measuring and determining:
- Damage to the vehicles
- Operational capability of vehicle systems (brakes, steering, suspension)
- Pre- and post-impact direction of travel
- Distances moved post-impact
- Impact angles
- Length of pre-impact skid marks and yaw (side-to-side) marks
- Friction values for traffic surfaces.
Part of the information gathered could come from the event data recorder (EDR or “black box”), which is now found in most late-model vehicles. Once an airbag is deployed in a car, the EDR records such information as:
- Date and time
- Vehicle speed
- Engine speed (RPMs)
- Steering angle
- Throttle (gas pedal) position
- Braking status
- Force of impact
- Seatbelt status.
Once forensic experts gather data, the information can be analyzed with the assistance of specialized computer programs. These programs can also be used to create graphic and animated depictions of the crash. This media, along with the expert’s testimony and a narrative text report entered into evidence, can go a long way in helping a jury understand the facts in a car accident case or to persuade an insurance company to settle.
Sooner is Better for Car Accident Reconstruction
The work of an accident reconstruction expert depends heavily on prompt access to the vehicles involved in the accident and to the accident scene. In a crash that may have been caused by a motor vehicle defect, it is crucial to have access to the car before it is altered in any way.
A car that was involved in a wreck may be repaired or, if declared totaled, may be destroyed soon after an accident. Time and weather will degrade the accident scene. Crucial evidence can be lost forever.
This is why it is helpful for a car accident victim to contact an attorney right away after a crash. In some cases, a car accident victim’s attorney may be required to obtain a court order to ensure that the other driver’s car is preserved and made available to the victim’s legal team. An attorney can ensure that the accident scene is examined quickly after being retained by an accident victim.
Allow Our Albany Car Accident Attorneys To Investigate Your Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident in Albany, Syracuse or elsewhere in New York, act now to ensure your accident is fully investigated. Contact Powers & Santola, LLP, car accident attorneys, today for a free legal consultation. We can act fast to start the work required to determine the true cause of your crash and seek the compensation you are due.