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What does an accident reconstruction expert do?

If law enforcement officers charge you with reckless driving after an Illinois motor vehicle accident or one of the other drivers sues you for causing it, you may wish to obtain the services of a professional accident reconstruction expert to find out exactly how the accident occurred so you can refute these charges.

A state Bar Association points out that unlike a local police investigation, an accident reconstructionist attempts to reconstruct the accident to discover exactly what happened and how it happened. Acting similarly to a crime scene investigator, (s)he looks not so much for who caused the accident as for evidence of how it happened. Nevertheless, determining this also determines who, if anyone, caused it.

Accident scene evidence

As you might suppose, your accident reconstructionist likely will want to to go to the accident scene as soon as possible. Why? Because the evidence there can quickly become compromised due to trampling by victims, police officers, first responders, etc. In addition, rain or other inclement weather can wash away evidence or otherwise compromise it.

Marks on the road can provide your accident reconstructionist with numerous pieces of evidence including the following:

  • Whether or not one or more vehicles accelerated or decelerated prior to the accident
  • Whether or not one or more vehicles skidded into or away from the accident
  • Whether or not one or more vehicles had underinflated or overinflated tires
  • Whether or not one or more vehicles engaged in automatic braking maneuvers
  • Whether or not a truck or other vehicle was overloaded

Vehicle evidence

Your accident reconstructionist likewise will probably want to inspect each of the vehicles involved in the accident. Many newer vehicles contain such technology as the following:

  • An event data recorder similar to the black box of an airplane
  • A transmission and/or power train control module
  • A crash avoidance system
  • A computer-applied braking system
  • A blind spot assist feature

Any or all of these technologies can greatly assist your accident reconstruction in determining how the accident occurred and whether or not you caused it. This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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