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Do You Need An Accident Reconstructionist in Your Truck Accident Case?

Posted on: June 21, 2013

Why Use Accident Reconstruction Experts?

Have you ever driven past the scene of a vehicular accident and wondered how the vehicles ended up in the position they were in? An Accident Reconstructionist might be called to an accident scene to answer that very question.

Accident reconstructions are commonly used in serious motor vehicle accidents but are also becoming popular in other types of serious personal injury claims. The purpose of reconstruction is to determine what really happened in an accident. Lawyers will on occasion hire an expert to visit the scene of an accident, or to analyze the wreckage in order to make determinations as to how or why the collision occurred. These experts can vary in specialty but usually they have engineering backgrounds and advanced degrees in physics or engineering.

Frequently, lawyers will obtain reports written by these experts and ask them to testify at trial regarding their findings. Through an intense investigation, factors that impact which driver was at fault can sometimes be determined. For example, an expert may be able to piece together various pieces of evidence to determine how fast a vehicle was traveling, prior to the impact or at the moment of impact.

These findings can be cross-referenced against testimony of the parties for accuracy. Insurance carriers have started using these reports to discredit claims of liability or even bodily injury by using human factor’s experts. For example, insurance companies will occasionally use experts to analyze the injuries people sustain after being involved in a crash and cross-reference them against the mechanics of how the accident happened.

The downside of utilizing these types of experts in litigation is that they can be very expensive, often charging hundreds of dollars per hour for their time. Accordingly, it usually does not make sense to utilize them except in cases where there are substantial damages being claimed. Usually, for example, local police departments only utilize experts of this type when they are investigating accidents resulting in fatality or extremely serious injuries. You should discuss with your lawyer whether it makes sense to utilize an expert in your case.

Serious Accidents are Serious Business

If you’ve ever observed a trucking accident, you know firsthand how serious these collisions can be. A typical 18-wheel rig can weigh over 80,000 pounds and when it is involved in a collision with a common passenger vehicle, the result can be catastrophic. Many people are killed, maimed or paralyzed each year from this type of collision. It’s not just 18 wheel rigs either. Tractor trailers, large trucks and other commercial motor vehicles also can wreak havoc on the roadway due to their sheer size, weight and the force created upon impact with one.

Given the seriousness of the injuries usually involved in a commercial vehicle collision, very complicated investigations and analysis of evidence usually ensue. Companies that utilize large 18 wheel trucks to move goods for example, typically hold commercial insurance policies worth millions of dollars to protect goods and protect against liability. If one of these giant machines topples or crashes and kills or maims someone due to negligence, the company can face a large amount of “exposure,” if they are sued.

Since the insurance company for the vehicle which caused the collision, rarely just wants to pay out millions of dollars without asking some questions, the companies will often hire an accident expert to verify how or why the collision occurred. Indeed, sometimes these reports are prepared in anticipation of litigation in order to minimize the impact a lawsuit will have on the companies bottom line.

For example, say a wreck may have resulted due to various factors, from driver fatigue or equipment malfunctions. (Break Failure) An expert will be able to render an opinion that is admissible in court as to which of these factors was the most likely cause of the collision. Was it driver fatigue? Was it a mechanical defect such as break failure? Was the driver intoxicated? Was the collision a result of a sudden lane change? When an expert renders an opinion on such ultimate questions of fact, the opinions often carry great weight. They may be the difference between a Jury believing one side or the other and they may ultimately shift the liability from one party (truck driver) to another (break manufacturer).

The Insurance Company Probably Has More Resources Than You Do

It has been our experience as accident lawyers that a large company will spare no expense to ensure that the liability of their driver is mitigated to the greatest possible extent under the law. One of the ways this can be achieved by them is to hire an expert witness as described above in the form of an accident Reconstructionist to perform an “independent” investigation as to the cause of the accident.

The problem for most litigants battling a large company, is that the expert witness for the “company,” will often interpret the evidence in a light most favorable to the company which is paying him to analyze the accident.

Consult With a Lawyer

Trucking litigation is often very complex and should be handled only by attorneys who are familiar with the practice area and know what kind of questions to ask. Additionally, these cases often end up in trial, so before you hire a lawyer, make sure your lawyer is comfortable taking cases to trial and is familiar with the inside of the courtroom. Not all lawyers are created equal.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to driver error or defective equipment, you may have a significant injury claim. Bob Katz and his legal team have experience assisting clients with insurance claims, denials by the insurance company and personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits stemming from trucking accidents and other serious motor vehicle crashes. Call us today and find out if we can help you. 1-888-540-2599.

Justin Katz is a personal injury lawyer who represents injury victims in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC
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02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
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My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
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Chris Shin
Chris Shin
18:23 20 Jun 18
They were very polite, professional. and informed current status of the case time to time. Great Job !!!
Jonathan Roane
Jonathan Roane
22:51 17 Nov 17
If you ever need any assistance with an accident or injury-related claim this is the firm you need hands down. These are the most professional and caring people I have ever met in my life. Two people you should contact are Rebecca Slattery who was actually my paralegal and also Allan Serrano. You will be in good hands.
Israel Thompson
Israel Thompson
00:52 06 Dec 17
Attorney MR Bob Katz outstanding Human being, went beyond and above to help me during my accident, he showed me tremendous kindness and support.Thank you so much will highly recommend him to anyone who needs help with their auto accident
Marta Kritselis
Marta Kritselis
16:19 01 Sep 17
Rebecca Slattery the paralegal She took care my case and she was very helpful throughout the whole process. I highly recommend to my family and friend the services of Attorney Bob Kats and there team .
Myong Kim
Myong Kim
22:04 31 Mar 17
I am grateful to Bob and Justin Katz and their team for working hard to get me the most money. They were very professional and easy to work with in Korean. I will recommend them to friends and family any chance I have.
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