More complex motor vehicle accidents where it isn’t obvious who bears fault for the crash will often rely on an accident reconstruction prepared by an expert to explain how the accident occurred and thereby identify who was responsible for triggering the crash. While liability for some crashes is relatively straightforward — like a rear-end collision at a stop sign or red light — many other crashes trigger a dispute over liability when the injured and damages parties try to make claims for compensation from their insurers.
What Is an Accident Reconstruction?
An accident reconstruction is a report, diagram, animation, and/or demonstration prepared by an expert witness who has forensic knowledge relevant to automobile accidents, such as vehicle engineering, traffic engineering, and physics.
An accident reconstruction usually includes a timeline of the incident beginning shortly before the crash, describing the movements of each vehicle involved in the accident leading up to and following the moment of collision until each vehicle finally comes to a rest. The reconstruction will identify each factor that may have contributed in some fashion to the incident, such as weather, road or traffic conditions, the condition and well-being of each of the drivers, and the conditions of the vehicles (including any defects or deferred maintenance). An accident reconstruction report may include a narrative of the crash, as well as diagrams, storyboards, animations, or filed recreations that provide a visual depiction of how the expert believes the accident occurred.
Why Do You Need an Accident Reconstruction?
An accident reconstruction is important for any motor vehicle accident where there is confusion or dispute over how an accident occurred and who was responsible for the crash. Without a clear story of how your accident occurred, bolstered by expert testimony, insurance companies may be more likely to deny your claim for compensation by claiming that liability cannot be established or by simply rejecting your claim of liability against the insurer’s driver.
When a motor vehicle accident claim goes to court and to trial, an accident reconstruction can also be highly persuasive and useful for the judge and jury to reach a verdict in the case. While police who investigated the accident may be called to testify in a case, forensic experts who have experience in preparing accident reconstructions often can tell a far more compelling explanation of how an accident occurred and what exactly happened in the crash.
How Are Accident Reconstructions Developed?
Accident reconstruction experts develop their reports and testimony by reviewing various pieces of evidence in the case, including the police accident report, accident scene photos, physical measurements taken at the scene of the accident, and witness statements. Expert witnesses may also rely on other relevant details, such as whether one driver was charged with DUI or another traffic offense, to help piece together the story of the accident, or if a driver was suffering medical or other health conditions (such as fatigue, use of certain prescription medications, or a medical emergency suffered at the time of the accident). Your attorney will already have working relationships with accident reconstruction experts and know whether preparing a reconstruction would be useful to and advance your case.
Contact a Edison Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. represent clients injured because of motor vehicle accidents in Lakewood, Toms River, Jackson, Woodbridge, and throughout New Jersey. Call (732) 906-1500 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 1862 Oak Tree Road, Edison, NJ 08820, as well as offices in Brick, Freehold, and Point Pleasant Beach.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.