Accident reconstruction is the process of collecting accident data, investigating the specific facts and circumstances surrounding an accident, and applying this information to physics and mathematical equations to determine how an accident occurred.
The purpose of accident reconstruction is to determine the involved vehicles’ velocity, change in velocity, direction of travel, point of impact, and overall trajectory during the collision sequence, including the vehicles’ first rest position.
Accident reconstruction is primarily analytical, requiring a degree of problem‑solving. Inferences are made from the data available to attempt to describe events of the accident that are otherwise not adequately known.
How Valid is Accident Reconstruction?
The validity of the accident reconstruction performed is heavily dependent upon the underlying accident investigation and data collection, including documenting the scene, securing the vehicles and their component parts, securing black box data, securing witness statements, photographing key elements of the case, documenting road design and maintenance defects, and obtaining medical and death records.
Under Missouri law, experienced police officers and accident reconstructionists are allowed to testify as to the speeds of vehicles involved in highway collisions when based upon the evidence observed at the scene of the accident, including direction of travel, skid marks, damage to the vehicles, and the location in which the vehicles came to rest. It is also appropriate for an accident reconstructionist to testify about stopping distances and turning radius.
The effect of skidding is also admissible, as is the location and meaning of scuff marks made by tires, the skid marks, gouge marks, and that the gouge marks were located where an eyewitness testified was the place of the accident. It is not appropriate, however, for a police officer or accident reconstructionist to testify as to which party was at fault in an accident or which action of the parties contributed to the accident.
Missouri courts do not allow an accident reconstructionist to testify as to the point of impact of a collision. This testimony if only proper from parties involved in litigation and any lay witnesses may testify concerning the point of impact of a collision.
Accident Reconstruction Is Only One Aspect of Our Investigation. Call Us to Schedule Your Free, No-Obligation Private Consultation to Find Out How We Will Work Hard to Prove Your Case.
We represent clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we are not owed anything unless and until we recover damages for them. At our consultation, I can explain to you what we will do in seeking to prove your case against all those who may have been responsible for your injuries and damages.