When Should You Hire an Accident Reconstructionist?

Posted - May 17, 2021
Red emergency stop triangle sign on road in car accident scene.

If you or a loved one were involved in a serious car accident it may be beneficial to hire an accident reconstructionist. What exactly is an accident reconstructionist? Simple. An accident reconstructionist uses accepted scientific methodology to determine the circumstances, mechanics, and contributing factors to recreate how and why the accident occurred.

A reconstructionist usually will have a scientific engineering background or a background in law enforcement. Accident reconstructionists are often used to tell the jury the true story of what happened in a specific case.

What Information Does an Accident Reconstructionist Need?

Details regarding the accident are usually obtained through several means. As a starting point, a reconstructionist usually needs the incident report that is generated by the investigating officers and photographs of the vehicles from the scene of the accident. While this information is very important, many details about the incident require further inquiry.

Frequently, a reconstructionist will need to review depositions or statements about the accident from the parties and any available witnesses. If the vehicles are still available for inspection it is highly beneficial for the reconstructionist to inspect the vehicle.

 With the inspection of a vehicle, a reconstructionist can take measurements of the impact and create a “crush profile”, which can be used to determine the impact speeds of the vehicles involved. If the investigating officer took photographs of any skid marks at the scene, then these can also be very helpful in determining the speed and braking of the vehicles involved.

Some of the most beneficial data a reconstructionist may have access to is an event data recorder (EDR) or often referred to as a “black box”. Starting in the early-to-mid 90’s recordable airbag modules were installed in select vehicles and now virtually every vehicle has one (usually stored right behind your steering wheel and dashboard). This is where data about the accident, and even the moments leading up to the accident are stored.

The data retrieved from these modules may include data pertaining the change of speeds, seatbelt status, and brake applications. Reconstructionists are trained in, correctly interpreting and applying the data to use as a tool in re-creating the accident.

Do You Need an Accident Reconstructionist?

If you were involved in a car accident that needs answers, such as vehicle speeds, collision severity, whether the incident was avoidable then your case may very well benefit from retaining an accident reconstructionist. Accident reconstructionists may also be beneficial in cases where liability is disputed. In accidents involving 18-wheelers or non-trucking accidents with severe injuries the victim is often rushed to the hospital and the only person left to share their side of the story with the investigating officer is the at-fault party.

Unfortunately, in 18-wheeler cases, it is all too common for a truck driver to be told by dispatch to wait for a corporate representative to show up to speak with the officers. These representatives then call a defense legal team who will rush to the scene to start manipulating statements and evidence. These people have been trained to sway officers’ opinions and to put fault on everyone but the wrongdoer. Accident reconstructionists do a great job of debunking these manipulations and may very well be appropriate in your case.

Contact The Genthe Law Firm Today for Help with Your Car Accident

At the Genthe Law Firm, P.C., our team is trained to properly identify cases that would benefit from an accident reconstructionist. We have extensive experience in retaining these experts as well as cross-examining defense experts who use an improper methodology to come to a conclusion that is beneficial for the insurance company.

Contact us today If you believe that you need a reconstructionist for a free case review. Our car accident lawyers serve clients throughout Texas.