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What is accident reconstruction?

A common phrase in media reports of vehicle collisions in Pennsylvania and elsewhere is the qualification that "the cause of the accident is under investigation." What exactly does this mean? Apart from interviewing eye witnesses, the most important investigative tool used by police and other agencies is accident reconstruction. Simply stated, truck and car accident reconstruction is an engineering process that attempts to recreate the sequence of events that led to the accident and that resulted from the collision of two or more vehicles.

The first step in investigating a crash scene is to photograph and measure the location of all relevant evidence, including the vehicles involved in the accident, the length of skid marks, the extent of deformation of car bodies and frames, the type of injuries suffered by victims, and damage to stationary items such as fences, guard rails and lamp posts. Once this information has been gathered, investigators will use it in computer algorithms to determine the speed of each vehicle just prior to the accident, the effect of the impact on each vehicle, how each victim was injured, and whether the drivers had control of their vehicles. These algorithms are based on fundamental laws of physics that govern the effect of gravity, vehicle mass, friction and momentum. A complete accident reconstruction will attempt to calculate the path traveled by each vehicle from the point of impact to their final resting place.

Accident investigators will also use external evidence, such as eye witness accounts, driving records, and driver logs if one or more of the vehicles was a commercial vehicle. Police investigators are usually looking for evidence of a crime, such as drunken driving or violation of traffic laws such as speed limits. Private investigators are usually hired by insurance companies or lawyers representing crash victims.

The accident lawyers at Leisawitz Heller in Reading are very experienced in the use of accident reconstruction to gather evidence to support their clients' claims for damages. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one in a multi-vehicle accident can be assured that the lawyers at Leisawitz Heller will use every possible accident reconstruction technique to prepare and present their case in court.

Source: John C. Glennon, Chartered, "Motor Vehicle Crash Investigation and Reconstruction," John C. Glennon, Jr. BSAT, accessed on May 8, 2017

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The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller
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Wyomissing, PA 19610

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Hamburg, PA 19526

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