Motor vehicle and truck accidents can occasionally resemble very complex puzzles for investigators who are attempting to determine the cause of the crash. Most crash investigators are trained forensic scientists. In attempting to decipher the causes of an accident, these investigators use the principles of their science to gather and understand the evidence.
The initial steps
When investigators arrive at a crash scene, their first job is to make a record and inventory of the site. The investigators make careful notes about the position of the vehicles, any surface marks such as skid marks or damage to roadside objects, the location of debris, and the nature of any injuries that drivers or passengers suffer. The investigators also make a detailed visual record of the crash scene using video cameras and advanced digital still cameras. Another essential step is interviewing witnesses.
The investigation is continuing
Once the site inventory is complete, the investigators return to their laboratories to reverse engineer the sequence of events using well-established scientific formulae to determine the directing and speed of the vehicles. Most forensic engineers have extensive libraries of books and manuals that contain data about the strength of various truck and automobile frames. Traffic investigators also collect information released by manufacturers concerning documented brake failures and other mechanical defects that may cause an accident.
Another important tool in an accident investigation is the preparation of a visual simulation of the accident. These simulations are prepared using advanced software programs that can use the accident data to create a digital version of the chain of events that produced the accident scene as it was recorded by the investigators. Such simulations are often shown to the jury in a civil lawsuit for damages that the accident caused.
Solid legal advice
Anyone seeking damages in a civil lawsuit may benefit from asking their attorney about using an accident reconstruction expert to develop an opinion about which driver was negligent and how the negligence caused the accident.