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Accident Reconstruction Lawyers

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What Is Accident Reconstruction?

Accident reconstruction refers to the process of recreating the scene of an accident with the help of an expert witness. Accident reconstruction is usually used in personal injury cases, or when it is difficult to determine who was at fault. In their presentation of reconstructing the accident, the lawyer or expert witness may often use:

  • Photographs
  • Video and audio footage
  • Witness testimony
  • Charts, tables, diagrams, and graphs
  • Police reports and other report findings (for example, analyzing skid marks)
  • In some cases, computer animation

If your case involves complex visuals or needs an expert witness, then there may be extra fees associated with the accident reconstruction. Accident reconstruction is useful in cases where the car accident was fatal or resulted in severe bodily injury.

Common personal injury claims that use accident reconstruction are:

What Is Forensic Animation?

Forensic animation is a specific type of accident reconstruction that uses computer programs to create the accident. They are commonly used for car crash cases. For instance, these programs can incorporate physics calculations, such as one car going 20 mph and the other going 55 mph. 

The use of forensic animation in trial is still subject to debate. Courts are still considering whether forensic animation is accurate enough to be used as evidence in trial.

Forensic animation shouldn’t be a party's only piece of evidence. The defense or plaintiff should use forensic animation with other forms of evidence as well, such as actual video footage or witness testimonies. 

How Is Accident Reconstruction Evidence Analyzed?

The court needs to review the accident reconstruction evidence. If the evidence does not support the party’s claim, it sometimes can’t be entered in as evidence in official court records.

Most courts use the following factors when analyzing accident reconstruction evidence (including forensic animation):

  • Authenticity: The court needs to verify that the evidence being presented is authentic.This is a fairly straight-forward determination
  • Relevance: The evidence needs to be related to the party’s claims
  • Accuracy: The evidence needs to be a “fair and accurate representation”. This is where many forensic animation devices fail
  • Probative Value: Any dangers that the evidence would unfairly prejudice a party should be outweighed by its usefulness in proving a claim.

The accident reconstruction evidence is thoroughly analyzed by the court before it can be admitted into the record. Also, the judge may give the jury specific instructions about an item of evidence. 

Should I Get a Lawyer for Assistance with Accident Reconstruction?

Yes. Proving fault in an accident sometimes can be difficult and may require the use of accident reconstruction methods. A personal injury lawyer can help you prepare your case for trial and find the right expert witness for you.

Photo of page author Jessica Tran

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 07-20-2015 06:45 PM PDT

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