After you’re involved in a collision, the police will need to determine what happened. Part of that process is talking to witnesses and taking your statement, and the other is reconstructing the accident.
Accident reconstruction has a specific set of steps to make sure that the way the accident happened can be understood. This process also determines the exact cause of the crash, so that you know who is at fault and why.
What are the steps taken to complete an accident reconstruction report?
Accident reconstruction happens in six stages:
- Collecting information from the scene
- Creating a hypothesis
- Making models
- Recreating the accident
- Testing the hypothesis
- Creating simulation software output
Technology is used throughout this process, usually in the form of collision simulators, vehicle identity databases and others, so that the accident can be recreated completely from scratch and recreated in a digital environment.
As a part of collecting information from the scene, the reconstruction team will speak with witnesses. This is because they can help the team understand what might have caused the crash. For example, if multiple witnesses report the vehicle sliding, then that can be used in the recreation.
How does a reconstruction expert work on the simulation?
The reconstruction expert goes to the scene to check the area for signs that show why the crash happened, like skid marks or damage to surrounding trees, curbsides or signage. They’ll look at the vehicles involved and take photographs. Combined, this evidence and the witness statements help the expert analyze the scene and come up with a realistic representation of what happened for a final report.
Can an accident reconstruction report be used in court?
Yes. An accident reconstruction report can be used in court and may hurt the at-fault party’s case. Since this report is so important, it’s vital that you and your attorney have the opportunity to review it before going to court. If there are changes that you believe need to be made, you can discuss them with the reconstruction team. You were present during the collision, so you should have the opportunity to help reconstruct the data.