Accident reconstruction is a process where experts determine the cause of an accident, assign fault, and also calculate force and direction of impact, which can be important for determining what injuries could be caused by the accident.
The experts used for this are first, the accident reconstructionist. This is usually a mechanical engineer who is trained in using the physical evidence, such as damage to vehicles, pictures of the crash site, tire marks, etc., to determine how an accident occurred.
Sometimes additional experts are needed, such as a lighting expert. Many accidents occur at night, and the visibility of vehicles in the available lighting can be a big issue.
A “human factors” expert can also be needed. A human factors expert can discuss matters such as human reaction times, and whether or not a driver had a chance to avoid a collision. This becomes very important in some cases because California has a pure comparative negligence law, meaning that a jury has to determine the percentage of fault of each driver. While one driver may be primarily at fault, another driver may bear a portion of the blame as well and will be held responsible for that percentage of the damages.
All of these experts can assist a jury in coming to a correct verdict in cases where the liability is disputed, and particularly where one party is not telling the truth about how the accident occurred.
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