Accident Reconstruction and Technology in the Courtroom
By Steven Sweat, Los Angeles Injury Lawyer
It is very common for people who are involved in auto accidents to not remember exactly what happened. Even witnesses may have different views of the accident and different ideas about what occurred and who was at fault. Fault is often in dispute in personal injury accident cases. To help build their clients' cases, be better prepared for negotiations and to increase the likelihood of success at trial, good personal injury lawyers often use accident reconstruction experts and technology in order to better show insurance companies and juries the case's value.
What Auto Accident Reconstruction Experts Do
Auto accident reconstruction experts come from a variety of different backgrounds, including law enforcement, science and engineering fields. They may go to an accident scene and take photographs of where it occurred. They may measure skid marks on the road, note traffic and road signs and interview any witnesses. They also will evaluate the interior and exterior damage to both involved vehicles. Then, they will use their training to analyze the physics of what happened, the relative speeds of the vehicles and evaluate exactly what happened as well as the damages involved. Auto accident reconstruction experts may then be called to testify at trial or to give their opinions to the insurance company.
Using Technology in Pretrial Negotiations and in the Courtroom
Personal injury attorneys may also determine whether to use computer simulations to build three-dimensional models showing exactly what happened. Using technology in this way has been demonstrated to be highly effective. Studies have shown that juries are much likelier to respond to demonstrative evidence, including scaled maps, computer models and other similar things. Animators may take the information gathered by the accident reconstruction expert to create visuals reenacting the accident. 3D modeling programs can allow jurors to see the accident from the perspective of the driver. Technology also exists so that jurors can see how the accident affects the body of the accident victim, including soft tissue injuries, subluxations, fractures and other injury types.
How Using an Accident Reconstruction Expert and Technology Can Help
One of the primary jobs of a personal injury attorney is convincing the insurance company or jury of the value of their client's claim. Insurance companies may dispute the liability of their insured. When an attorney has a report, testimony and 3-D modeling of the accident, it can help to convince the company that a fair settlement is in order. This may help increase the amount that can be recovered. While medical reports are also important for documenting the seriousness of the injuries, They don't show who was at fault in the accident. If the case does proceed to litigation and trial, juries are much likelier to consider the information to be trustworthy when they have visual representations they can follow along with the testimony. When juries only hear verbal testimony without visual aids, they are more likely to not pay attention, possibly missing out on crucial data that could help them return verdicts with higher monetary awards.
Getting the help of a team of auto accident reconstruction experts and computer animators may be very important in proving a personal injury case. People who are injured may want to make certain that the personal injury lawyer they retain is one who regularly works together with these professionals in order to get better settlements and win at trial.