Law enforcement will file a report after a motor vehicle crash involving damages. A crash recreation expert may also look at the case if there is death or severe injury. This investigator’s goal is to determine who is at fault or more at fault in causing the crash. Their investigation can yield such findings as a negligent driver was texting at the time of the crash or that a truck driver was going too fast for the driving conditions.
Investigating the crash
Often off-duty or retired law enforcement, motor vehicle engineers or automotive technologists, investigators evaluate all the crash’s details. This starts by examining the crash site in person or using photographs. They will look for such details as:
- The damage to the vehicles
- Where the crash took place and where the vehicles ended up after colliding
- The road and weather conditions at the time of the crash
- Skid marks on the road
- Gouge marks in the nearby ground caused by vehicles
- Damage to nearby structures or vegetation impacted by the vehicles
They will measure all these details and apply the principles of engineering, physics and mathematics, which enables them to form expert opinions on the velocity, driver visibility, collision angles, and cause.
The plaintiff’s legal team can use these findings to prove or strengthen their argument for negligence. This expert fact-based analysis (or testimony if there is a court case) provides an accurate account of the crash. It may even differ from eyewitness accounts because the crash’s traumatic nature can cause those involved or other witnesses to misremember the crash’s details. In addition to a report or testimony, the investigator can recreate the impact using computer simulations or models to illustrate their points better.
Each side may use their crash recreation expert if there is a court case or dispute regarding the cause, so plaintiffs need to work with a knowledgeable crash recreation expert. These skilled individuals can also disqualify any flawed data provided by the defense to undermine the plaintiff’s case.