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What is the goal of conducting a crash reconstruction?

In reading the news, it's commonplace to hear about a reconstruction of a crash scene being done. Accident investigators involved in reconstructing crashes often return to the site where a collision occurred in an attempt to figure out what caused the crash when it's not readily clear.

Oftentimes, they'll apply different physics principles in an effort to understand more about angles of impact and just how fast motorists involved may have been traveling at the time the crash occurred. Reconstructionists are also trained in identifying other factors that may have caused a crash including brake issues, car defects or mechanical failures, driver error or poor roadway conditions.

Observing skid patterns on the actual roadway itself is critical to helping the investigator determine the speed the motorists involved may have been traveling and how soon braking occurred. Knowing the weight of the vehicle and seeing the skid pattern can help them determine how quickly the motorist may have been moving immediately prior to the crash. All of this can help shape who is held responsible for the crash.

Crash reconstructionists often don't just visit the crash site, but also go to the site where the car that sustained damage is being held.

When visiting that location, you'll often notice the reconstructionist both assessing and measuring the damaged portion of the vehicle. You may also see them inspecting mechanical aspects of the vehicle such as its lights, steering, suspension, tires or brakes. Their goal in inspecting these component is to see if they malfunctioned and thus caused the crash.

It's not uncommon for reconstructionists to complete their investigations into crashes with far less than conclusive results. This often occurs because there are some contributing factors that they may be unaware of, poor evidence collected or something else array. In cases such as these, the reconstructionist is often trained to craft assumptions based on what evidence is indeed present.

If you've been critically injured in a traffic collision and want to better understand how a crash scene reconstruction may decide negligence, a San Bernardino bus crash attorney can advise you of that.

Source: Crash Forensics, "Crash reconstruction explained," accessed Dec. 01, 2017

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