Part of being a good Spartanburg, South Carolina car, motorcycle and tractor-trailer accident injury attorney is knowing that sometimes, you just don’t know it all. For some extremely serious traffic accidents, sometimes the police who investigate them don’t know it all, either.
When we need extra help proving the cause or severity of your crash, we call an accident reconstruction expert, traffic accident reconstruction engineer, or private crash investigator. They all mean the same thing, so I’ll tell you the basics of what you need to know about them.
For other questions about your South Carolina car accident case and how it works, check out my FREE BOOK on crash cases which I wrote as a service for folks like you.
Typical Cases That Might Need an Accident Reconstruction Expert
When hired, we consider an accident reconstructionist in cases involving:
- Severe injuries or wrongful death where liability, or fault for the crash, is hotly contested.
- Traumatic brain injury, or where the victim is knocked unconscious at impact (which is a telling sign of at least a concussion) and doesn’t remember the accident.
- Some semi-trailer cases, because these hard-nosed trucking companies and their own insurance companies fight so hard against these cases, they may already have experts lined up against you.
If your case might require an accident reconstructionist, critical evidence may be disappearing. You need to act fast to preserve your rights. You can contact us with a live chat, fill out a Get Help Now form, or call toll-free at 888-230-1841.
What an Accident Reconstructionist Does
The most important thing these experts have done in our car, motorcycle, and semi-truck accident cases around Spartanburg is:
- Estimate the speed of vehicles before and after impact.
- Pinpoint the impact location of the vehicles.
- Present the angle of impact where the vehicles struck each other.
That requires them to do extensive investigation and perform calculations that only they know how to do—that’s why they’re the experts and we’re not. Here’s what an accident reconstruction expert does, but we’re only scratching the surface:
- Inspect the vehicles. This can yield vital information about how the vehicles crushed against each other, helping to prove the angle and location of the impact.
- Preserve evidence. The expert is an independent source who documents the accident with tons of pictures of the vehicles and the scene to cover every available aspect of the wreck.
- Measure skid marks. These yield critical calculations related to whether brakes got hit in time, whether the brakes worked, or whether they never got applied at all.
- Perform a “black box” analysis. The accident reconstruction expert knows how to extract information from event data recorders in many cars and virtually all semi-trucks. These computers known as the “black box” can yield vital information about the impact like speed and whether the driver hit the brakes. Evidence from the black box can be highly useful—if it doesn’t disappear. That’s yet another reason to act fast in a serious car, motorcycle, or tractor-trailer accident.
- Create diagrams or even computer animations to illustrate how the crash happened. Seeing is believing, and this brilliant use of technology by a qualified expert can make all the difference in your case.
Since they’re called experts, not just anyone can do the job. Let’s see who an accident reconstructionist is.
Accident Reconstruction Expert Qualifications
There are two basic requirements for an expert, and then a couple of my own. At a minimum, an accident reconstructionist should either be:
- A former police officer with extensive traffic accident investigation experience, preferably a former South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper trained by the MAIT unit with experience investigating crashes, or
- An engineer.
The qualification I require is that they’re honest. An expert who just tells me what I want to know is a hired gun. When a hired gun gets smoked out by the other side, it can kill your case.
For motorcycle crashes, I want an accident reconstruction expert who rides, so he can personally identify with the unique pressures and unfair disadvantages faced by motorcycle riders—especially the faulty “I couldn’t see you” defense.
I’m sensing your next question that you’re right to ask: how much does it cost? Good news. Read on.
The Cost of an Accident Reconstructionist Isn’t Your Present Concern
I’ll end your worries here. If Holland & Usry has your case, you don’t pay for an accident reconstructionist out of your pocket. As part of your contingency fee arrangement, your accident attorneys pay those costs for you. We get reimbursed from your settlement at the end of the case.
This is a lucky deal for you—these experts are well paid because the work they do is critical. Generally, they get paid an hourly fee. In most cases, their bill runs into thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s vital for you to hire a lawyer you trust to find an expert you both trust who’s qualified, highly skilled, and a solid witness—all of which makes him or her worth their weight in gold.
To get started finding an accident reconstructionist or just answer any questions you have about your car, motorcycle, or 18-wheeler accident, you can contact us with a live chat, fill out a Get Help Now form, or call us in Spartanburg toll-free at 888-230-1841. You can also schedule a FREE, EASY strategy session.