Accident Reconstruction Specialists
If you are injured in a serious accident, the various drivers involved may have different accounts of how it happened. When there are multiple drivers involved, figuring out what happened may be even more complex, with different witnesses testifying differently as to precisely what happened. Accident reconstruction is the scientific approach taken to figure out how and why an accident happened. It is usually undertaken by specialists. Our Chicago car accident lawyers know that accident reconstruction specialists can be helpful to establishing liability in a personal injury claim.The Role of Accident Reconstruction Specialists
Accident reconstruction is performed by experts. Generally, they start by looking at the clearest data, such as where the cars came to rest after colliding, the damage to the cars, and evidence from the scene. They use this data along with other information relevant to the collision to determine what speed the drivers were going, how severe the crash was, what the drivers were doing, and other factors that go into the question of what caused a particular car accident.
The data is analyzed by the specialist using physics and engineering principles to reconstruct the accident and figure out what happened to cause the collision, and what may have also contributed to it. The accident reconstruction specialist will create a report from the data that has been gathered and analyzed. This report and the specialist's testimony as an expert can help show what happened to cause a complex car accident.
To establish your right to recover damages in a car accident, your lawyer usually needs to prove another driver’s negligence. That means showing that another driver owed you a duty but breached that duty and caused the crash. Often, causation is unclear. You may believe that another driver failed to yield, while the other driver claims that you sped up to narrow the distance. Similarly, you may remember seeing a green light, while the other driver may believe that you had a red light and that it was appropriate to proceed. In some cases, it is apparent that a particular party may be lying because their story keeps changing or their claims about what happened are implausible. However, there are situations that are more ambiguous, and it may be appropriate to retain an accident reconstruction expert.
One or more of the drivers whom you sue may file a countersuit against you, alleging comparative negligence. Their goal will be to reduce or eliminate your ability to recover damages by showing that you are partially or fully to blame. When comparative negligence is alleged, the jury will look at evidence and arguments from all of the parties to determine the damages sustained and percentages of fault. Often, an accident reconstruction specialist's report and testimony are critical for a jury trying to sort through conflicting testimony about what happened.
Under Illinois evidence laws, an accident reconstruction specialist can testify as an expert in a personal injury lawsuit if their experience and qualifications provide them with knowledge not common to laypeople, and that testimony will help the trier of fact reach its conclusions. What is needed is knowledge and experience that are greater than that of the average citizen.
There is not any predetermined formula for how an expert gets the specialized knowledge or experience that allows them to testify. Reconstruction testimony is believed to be appropriate only if the expert is qualified in the field and the testimony will help the jury. Generally, testimony is only found to assist a jury if it is necessary for the expert to rely on their knowledge and application of physics principles, engineering principles, and other sciences that are beyond the average juror's knowledge. Our experienced attorneys know credible and well-qualified accident reconstruction specialists who would be able to testify if necessary for your case.Consult a Chicago Lawyer for Your Car Accident Claim
If you were injured in a car crash and need the assistance of an accident reconstruction specialist, you should consult an experienced personal injury attorney. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent accident victims in Chicago, Aurora, Springfield, Champaign, Rockford, and Quincy, as well as other areas of Cook, Kane, Sangamon, Champaign, Winnebago, and Adams Counties. You can call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525, or contact us online, for a free consultation.