What is an Accident Reconstruction Expert in a Criminal Case?

March 27, 2022 Criminal Defense

What is Accident Reconstruction?

Accident reconstruction is as simple as it sounds – the scene of an accident is reconstructed using certain methods and processes in order to create a timeline of what happened during an accident, where it happened, when, and why it unfolded in the way it did. Reconstructing an accident assists the judge or jury in determining liability. Accident reconstruction experts may work for either the defendant or plaintiff in a criminal matter.

What Do Accident Reconstruction Experts Do?

The scientific approach of accident reconstruction requires working with data such as evidence at the scene, vehicle final rest positions, and vehicle damage. Accident reconstruction experts will use various kinds of equipment and tools, such as computers and specific computer programs, to uncover data. Once revealed, they will work with this data in reverse, using evidence known about the accident to resolve issues that may be unknown, such as the speed the vehicle was going at the time of the accident, the severity of the collision, and the behavior of the driver.

They will also interview and work with law enforcement officers and look at various other human factors and environmental factors at play. Taking all this into account, the expert will formulate a report that encompasses a timeline of what happened before the accident, as well as what happened as the accident unfolded. Doing so “connect[s] each party to certain actions or behaviors.” The expert will often show these connections through an in-court presentation about the incident that includes visual aids, timelines, or pictures and videos in order to explain what occurred. An accident reconstruction expert may have a background in civil, mechanical, or biomechanical engineering, physics, data retrieval, or human factor analysis. These experts may also be law enforcement personnel with specific traffic accident reconstruction training.

Why Are They Used?

An accident reconstruction expert helps to fill in the gaps when questions arise about the details of an accident. The expert may “provide details about the speeds related to the accident if the collision was avoidable, sight distances for objects, the severity of the collision, subsequent damage, and if code violations occurred at the time of the incident. Even for less severe issues, the expert may provide information and answers to include the collision event and related factors that might have caused the impact and surrounding damage.” All of these details are pivotal in assisting the judge or jury in coming to an ultimate determination.

When Are They Used?

 Accident reconstruction experts can be used to address accidents involving, but not limited to:

  • Automobiles
  • Buses or trains
  • Planes
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Building or bridge collapse
  • Medical procedures
  • Shootings
  • Pedestrians
  • Excessive force

Tallahassee Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, it is imperative you reach out to an experienced Tallahassee criminal defense attorney who will exhaust all measures, including finding and retaining an expert witness that will help your case. Don Pumphrey and the members of the legal team at Pumphrey Law Firm have decades of experience and will fight zealously for your freedom. Contact us today at (850) 681 – 7777 or send an online message today to discuss your legal matter during an open and free consultation with an attorney in our legal team.

Written by Sarah Kamide

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