What You Should Know About Recreating Texas Truck AccidentsFebruary 24, 2022
Discover How 18-Wheeler Accident Reconstruction Works & How It Can Help a Claim
Reconstructing a tractor-trailer crash can be vital to the success of some truck accident claims. That’s because accident reconstruction can shine new light on what caused a crash, who’s at fault for it, and what the available legal remedies are. Vitally, recreating an accident can also help victims prove liability and seek full, fair compensation for their 18-wheeler accident claims.
Although not necessary in every big rig crash case, accident reconstruction can be integral in many claims, especially those involving:
- Multi-vehicle wrecks when it’s unclear exactly how a crash happened
- Fault disputes or victims being wrongly blamed for a truck crash
- Vehicle mechanical failures or other more complicated factors
How Does Truck Accident Reconstruction Work?
Truck accident reconstruction involves recreating or reenacting the events of the collision. In many cases, reconstructing a big rig accident is an incredibly complex process, requiring:
- Painstaking investigations
- Meticulous analysis of multiple pieces of evidence
- The insights and testimony of highly trained experts
When experts are brought in to recreate a truck crash, they usually snap hundreds to thousands of photographs, take measurements and videos, and carefully inspect the vehicles involved. They may also use an array of specialized equipment and technology to do things like (but not limited to):
- Digitally survey the scene
- Obtain aerial footage via drones
- Create 3D laser scanner images
- Run simulations and experiments to try to recreate the physical damage and evaluate the potential for vehicle mechanical failures, driver errors, road-related factors, and more
The data gathered from these efforts is often used alongside other evidence, like debris from the scene, police reports, and witness statements, to create a comprehensive account of how the accident happened and what motorists were doing (or not doing) before and during the crash.
When Do Truck Accident Reconstruction Experts Come Into the Picture?
After a tractor-trailer crash, insurance companies and victims’ attorneys may retain their own truck accident reconstruction experts to assist with investigations and help them piece together exactly how an 18-wheeler wreck occurred.
As part of their work, accident reconstructionists may arrive at the scene immediately after the crash. That typically occurs when motor carriers and their insurance companies deploy quick response teams after truck wrecks. These teams are typically focused on looking for evidence to defend the company against liability and minimize potential payouts.
Alternatively, accident reconstruction experts may be brought in after the fact to help uncover key details and factors related to a big rig crash. Truck accident lawyers for victims may retain these experts to conduct independent investigations and unearth key details, including (but not limited to):
- The speeds at which vehicles were traveling prior to the crash
- When or if various motorists were accelerating versus decelerating
- The stopping distances for 18-wheelers and other vehicles, given the road and weather conditions
- The points of impact and the angles of the collision
- Whether issues like brake problems, wheel lockup, brake lag time, or other mechanical issues were factors in the wreck
- The degree to which visibility, road issues, and/or weather conditions were factors in a wreck
Are All Truck Accident Reconstruction Experts the Same?
No. While different experts may bring different levels of expertise to the table, they may also specialize in particular areas of accident reconstruction. As such, these experts can include (and are not limited to):
- Mechanical engineers
- Biomechanical engineers
- Tire experts
- Fire experts
- Crashworthiness experts
- Data analysis and recovery experts
In some cases, it takes a team of these experts to develop evidence-based conclusions about the precise causes of a tractor-trailer wreck.
Here, it’s also essential to note that accident reconstruction experts must have specific credentials to testify for a court case — and those who tend to bring more credibility to the table are usually the experts who have experience working on truck accident claims.
Will Accident Reconstruction Help My Truck Accident Case?
Talk to an attorney for a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer here. The truth is that not every claim needs these experts but many can benefit from them.
While a lawyer can give you more insight as to how an accident reconstruction expert may help your case, an experienced 18-wheeler accident attorney can also point you towards which expert(s) may be better for your claim, based on the factors and details involved. Ultimately, that can help you craft a stronger case while potentially improving your chances of winning the full compensation you may deserve.