Sometimes, it’s unclear how a car accident occurred. The drivers and others involved may have opposing views about who caused a collision. A multi-vehicle collision may have more than one at-fault driver and contributing factors.
In cases involving complex, accidents, such as chain-reaction pileups, we may work with forensic investigators to re-create the scene of the accident and help determine who was at fault. Accident reconstruction specialists provide a detailed report about the accident and can testify as expert witnesses in court if needed.
If you are dealing with a contested car accident claim, the experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyers of Sam & Ash Injury Law can investigate to determine who is liable for your injuries and other losses. We have the resources to uncover what occurred in a multi-vehicle crash and the determination to pursue all compensation available to you if you were injured due to the negligence of others.
In Las Vegas,Sam & Ash Injury Law will focus on the best options for pursuing What’s Right for you. C contact us to talk with an experienced car accident attorney. We’re available 24 hours a day and there is never a fee until we have recovered compensation for you.
What Is Accident Reconstruction?
Accident reconstruction is a tool investigators use to determine what happened in car accidents.
After a traumatic event, the people involved often differ in how they describe what happened. The techniques used to re-create a car accident rely on the principles of physics, engineering, mathematics, and photogrammetry (interpreting photographs and patterns of electromagnetic radiant imagery).
By examining a variety of technical data, an accident reconstructionist can develop a detailed analysis of a car accident, including the contributing factors and how the vehicles performed mechanically. This allows the reconstructionist to develop a step-by-step retelling of the crash.
The accident reconstructionist can appear as an expert witness in court and offer testimony and a compelling multi-media presentation for the judge and jury.
Some larger police departments and law enforcement organizations, such as the Nevada Highway Patrol, employ accident reconstruction experts, but most are independent investigators.
Public and private accident reconstructionists are usually accredited by one or more independent agencies, such as the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR). The Commission has established minimum training and experience requirements, a code of conduct, and a two-part accreditation examination. If an accredited reconstructionist is sanctioned by a court, administrative board, or professional licensure board, the ACTAR board of directors may revoke the individual’s accreditation.
Physical Evidence Used To Recreate a Car Accident Scene
Re-creating a car accident requires a painstaking review of multiple pieces of evidence and the use of a variety of forensic principles to evaluate how the pieces may fit together and affect each other. This includes:
- Police accident report, which includes basic information such as crash location, date, time, vehicles and people involved, injuries, traffic and weather conditions, and a brief description of what happened
- Emergency communications audio, which may have been captured during the response to the accident
- Photos or video from the accident scene, possibly including footage from police body cams or nearby surveillance cameras
- Witness statements
- Our client’s medical records
- Vehicle damage, which can indicate vehicle speed at the point of impact, and angle of impact
- Product recalls pertaining to the vehicles
- Vehicle components such as brakes, steering, tires, suspension, and lights that may be defective and have contributed to the accident
- Data from the vehicles’ event data recorders (EDRs), which record technical information about a variety of vehicle functions from before, during, and after a collision, including:
- Vehicle speed
- Engine speed
- Change in velocity (Delta-V)
- Longitudinal acceleration
- Lateral acceleration
- Steering wheel angle
- Brake application
- Anti-lock braking system activity
- Seatbelt usage
- Percent throttle
- Yaw rate
- Roll angle
- Gear selection
- Tire pressure
Armed with this information, the reconstructionist can determine the speed of each vehicle and their relative positions just before the collision, at the point of impact, and afterward until each vehicle came to rest.
How Is Accident Reconstruction Evidence Analyzed?
An accident reconstruction specialist can establish a timeline of what happened at each point in a car accident and identify how driver error, a defective vehicle part, or other factors contributed to the crash. The reconstructionist can use electronic surveying equipment at the crash scene to produce a computer-generated scale diagram of the accident and a forensic animation program to create video depictions of how the accident unfolded.
There may be multiple scenarios for how the accident occurred based on principles of physics applied to:
- Point of impact
- Impact angles
- Vehicle weights
- Vehicles’ direction of movement before and after the collision
- Length of pre-impact skid marks
- Distances traveled after impact
- Friction values for the various surfaces the vehicles traveled over
For each crash scenario, the report will detail movement and impacts upon each vehicle and how vehicle occupants were injured by the initial impact of the crash and secondary impacts.
For very high-profile cases, it is possible to obtain vehicles and re-create the accident to obtain measurements to compare with what the investigation has shown about the accident.
Our attorneys may seek the services of an accident reconstruction expert if the normal analysis of evidence in a multi-vehicle accident does not adequately explain the crash and resulting injuries.
Compensation Available for Multi-Vehicle Car Accident Injuries
When a car accident investigation determines fault, Nevada law allows the injured to demand compensation from any at-fault party who has injured them through negligence or recklessness. The amount of compensation available will depend on the extent of your injuries, your other accident-related losses, the impact your injuries have on your life, and the insurance coverage available to provide compensation.
As we work to determine liability for the car accident that left you injured, our Las Vegas car accident attorneys will gather your medical records, employment records, receipts from out-of-pocket expenses related to the crash, and other evidence to demonstrate all that the accident and your injuries have cost you.
In most cases, motor vehicle accident victims can pursue compensation from insurance companies for:
- Medical expenses for treatment required after a crash, from emergency response to rehabilitation
- Projected costs of anticipated medical procedures and medical care required due to disabling injuries
- Lost income, including projected losses due to diminished earning capacity
- The cost to repair or replace your damaged vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In addition to developing evidence that identifies how an accident occurred and who was at fault, we will prepare an accounting of your costs and losses from the crash. We will use this information to draft a demand letter to the responsible insurance company, stating the compensation you are owed.
Most car accident claims are settled without taking a case to trial. But if an insurance company refuses to provide appropriate compensation, the car accident attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law will file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf and be prepared to stand up for you in court. Our experienced attorneys will be prepared to present a persuasive case to a Clark County jury.
Under Nevada’s comparative negligence law, a jury hearing an accident claim must determine how each party in an accident may have contributed to the crash and the share of fault among all involved. For example, if a jury decides the defendant was 80 percent at fault for a crash but the accident victim was 20 percent at fault, an award of $100,000 in damages would be reduced by 20 percent to $80,000. As your attorneys, we work vigorously to rebut any claims of fault on your part. An accident reconstruction specialist can help build a persuasive case of others’ liability for a serious crash.
Contact a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer Specialized in Scene Recontructions
After a car accident, law enforcement authorities try to sort out what happened and who was at fault. But when police investigation resources are limited, police may be unable to come up with definitive answers about a complex car crash.
The car accident injury lawyers at Sam & Ash Injury Law have the resources and the determination to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, identify who is at fault and seek the full compensation you are due.
Contact a car accident lawyer at Sam & Ash in Las Vegas as soon as possible after a car accident so the vehicles and other evidence from the accident can be preserved and examined in a timely manner. We are here to fight for What’s Right for you. Contact us today.