What is Crash Reconstruction?

      Crash reconstruction is the process of looking at many aspects of a crash to determine fault or negligence by one party or the other. Looking at environmental, mechanical and driver’s to establish a list or timetable of events that contributed or caused the crash to occur. Environmental facts include the weather and road conditions. Mechanical can mean the way a road is designed or the way a vehicle is manufactured by the company or maintained by the owner. The driver, if the driver was impaired, distracted or just made a bad decision that lead to the property damage, personal injury or the death of another.
      A crash reconstruction uses many things to render a conclusion of the cause of the crash. The Reconstructionist can look at the damage of the vehicles to determine speed of the vehicles; can retrieve information from the Event Data Recorder (“black box”) from a vehicle or vehicles in the crash. The Reconstructionist can look at the physical evidence left at the scene of the crash to determine direction of travel for vehicles, speed, braking, points of impact and steering input. Sometimes vehicles in crashes travel over several different surfaces and numerous mathematical formulas are used to determine the speed of vehicles. Vehicle inspections can determine whether there were possible mechanical issues with a vehicle. The inspection can determine if the brakes were working properly at the time of the crash, if the tires were properly maintained, which could be an issue on a wet road. Whether the lighting on the vehicle was working and properly illuminated for the time of the day or night the crash occurred. Headlight inspections can determine if the lights were illuminated at the moment of impact and primary direction of force (PDOF).
      Medical reports and emergency doctor reports can be evaluated and many things can be learned through the study of occupant kinematics. Occupant kinematics, as it pertains to accident reconstruction, is aimed at explaining the motion of occupants inside a vehicle during a crash.  Accident reconstruction experts utilize Newtonian laws of motion to explain the paths that vehicle occupants follow and the method in which they react to external forces. This can be helpful in proving or disproving airbag deployment or whether an occupant was wearing their seatbelt at the time of the crash.                                                 


Who needs to hire a crash Reconstructionist?

Are you an attorney trying to defend a client that has been charged civilly or criminally in a crash? Are you any attorney that is wishing to prove negligence in incident and needs more evidence or even an expert opinion for a trial? Are you an owner of a company that had a vehicle in the crash and are trying to make sure you protect your assets from the possibility of a future lawsuit?
In Florida, many law enforcement agencies do not take the time to fully investigate a crash or the officer that shows to the scene has the most basic of skills to investigate the crash. Most agencies do not send their officers for additional training due to staffing and budgetary issues. More agencies are trying to do more with less and the more serious crimes get dedicated more time and training, leaving traffic related issues and training to falter. Officers are being pushed to hurry investigations and they do not speak to all the witnesses or even list all the information obtained, on the crash report.

When should I contact a crash Reconstructionist?

The moment the crash occurs evidence begins to disappear, whether it is evidence is carried away in a boot of one of the first responders, the tow truck company removing the vehicles or the tire tread of another vehicle driving through the crash scene. The evidence available dissipates from moment of the crash, and most cannot be found or located ever again. Witness’s memories fade and disappear; they forget where vehicles were prior to the crash and what happened just after. If only one witness was spoken with, you only get the crash from their point of view and their angel of visibility, not a complete view. Vehicles are released to insurance companies for salvage and destroyed.
If your looking for assistance the earlier a reconstructionist is called, the better the investigation results will be.

How to get the results you need for your case or protection?

Edward Sommers has been investigating traffic homicides since 2004 with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. He retired December of 2016 after 27 years of Law Enforcement with over 15 years of traffic crash investigations. He has training in Crash reconstruction involving cars, light trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. He has made arrests in DUI manslaughter and Vehicular homicide cases with convictions. Mr. Sommers has testified as an expert, in numerous criminal trials within the 20th Judicial Circuit on Vehicular Homicides and DUI Manslaughter cases.

Email: info@accinvestigationsfl.com