How Accident Reconstruction Can Affect Your Car Accident Lawsuit

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“Does being a car accident reconstructionist sound like a fun job?” is one of those “yes or no” questions that will never elicit a response of “maybe.”  Some people, perhaps even the majority of them, would never want to devote all their working hours to reconstructing the details of traffic accidents, especially those that involved serious injuries or fatalities. 

If your least favorite part of school was those math problems where you had to calculate when and where a train leaving St. Louis and another leaving Chicago would cross paths, then being a traffic accident reconstructionist definitely isn’t for you.  For a certain type of forensic science nerd, though, vehicular accident reconstruction is a dream job. Many plaintiffs who recovered damages in car accident injury lawsuits can thank a traffic accident reconstructionist, as well as a St. Louis personal injury lawyer.

What Do Traffic Accident Reconstructionists Do?

Traffic accident reconstruction is a branch of forensic science dealing with car accidents and all the factors that affect them.  Their work is especially important when the people involved in the accident do not have clear memories of it because of the severity of their injuries.  Insurance companies, law enforcement, and civil courts also rely on accident reconstruction when the cause of the accident was partially due to factors other than the behavior of the drivers, such as low visibility or wet roads.

Traffic accident reconstructionists sometimes use software to create 3-D computer models of accidents.  If one or more vehicles involved in the accident had an event data recorder (EDR), then accident reconstructionists rely on data from these devices to help them build their models.  Most large trucks have an EDR, as do newer models of cars made by Hyundai and Kia.

In car accident injury lawsuits, the court often summons traffic accident reconstructionists to act as expert witnesses.  Sometimes the reconstructionists are part of the police department, but other times they are from independent firms. Accident reconstructionists must be certified by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR).

Have You Hugged an Accident Reconstructionist Today?

Besides providing important testimony in the courtroom, vehicular accident reconstructionists can help make vehicles and roads safer.  Hugh “Harry” Hurt, who died in 2009, was an accident reconstructionist who conducted pioneering research on motorcycle accidents in the 1970s.  He studied over 900 accidents, and some of his findings went on to influence laws about motorcycle safety.

Among his discoveries were that helmets have a huge effect on the survival rate of motorcyclists involved in accidents, that motorcyclists require additional training to drive safely on wet roads, and that it is a challenge for left-turning cars to see motorcyclists in time to avoid a collision.  If you have ever ridden a motorcycle and arrived safely at your destination, you can probably thank an accident reconstructionist; Hurt’s discoveries are the basis of some of the rules you had to learn before getting your motorcycle license.

Contact Walton Telken Injury Attorneys About Car Accident Cases

Contact Walton Telken Injury Attorneys in the Kirkwood, Missouri area for a legal consultation to see if you have grounds for a car accident lawsuit.

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