Many media reports of traffic accidents end with the statement that police are continuing their investigation. The meaning of this phrase is very important to law enforcement agencies attempting to understand the cause of the accident and to any party who suffered injury and is pursuing a claim for damages against the responsible party. The phrase “continuing investigation” most often means that a team of engineers is assembling and analyzing evidence from the scene and attempting to reconstruct the accident.
The basics of accident reconstruction
Accident reconstruction engineers begin their work by making a complete forensic inventory of the scene. Investigators collect damaged parts from the involved vehicles. They also make careful measurements of skid marks, tire tracks, and any other information that is gathered from the scene. Many investigators make a video record of the accident scene to document the impact point and the final resting place of the damaged vehicles.
Reconstruction the accident
Having collected as much information as possible from the scene, the investigators next carefully inspect the collected parts from the damaged vehicles. Over the years, accident investigators have compiled written records of the extent to which various makes of automobile can withstand different impacts. Using this information together with fundamental laws of physics and chemistry the investigators can, in effect, reverse-engineer the events that contributed to the accident and to any injuries or deaths. This technique of accident reconstruction can pinpoint the initial impact and the speed of the respective vehicles.
Advanced methods of accident reconstruction
If requested, the investigators can create a video simulation of the accident showing how vehicles responded to the speed and force of the different impacts These demonstrations can range from simple schematic drawings to complex video simulations of the accident.
Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in a multi-vehicle accident may wish to consult an experienced accident lawyer for advice on retaining a reputable accident reconstruction expert to assist in the investigation of the accident and the presentation of evidence in the courtroom.