Personal Injury 101: What is an Accident Reconstructionist?

Personal Injury 101: What is an Accident Reconstructionist?

When a personal injury victim files a lawsuit for compensation, that person’s lawyer may use an accident reconstructionist to help build your case. Though they’re primarily used in cases involving motor vehicle crashes, an accident reconstructionist could help build a plaintiff’s case regardless of what kind of incident occurred.

What a reconstructionist does

It can be very chaotic after an accident; the person who is hurt might not know what questions to ask or what kind of evidence to document, and sometimes things get lost in the shuffle. An accident reconstructionist takes all the evidence available, analyzes that data, and then explains how and why the accident occurred. The evidence they collect usually includes:

  • A copy of the police report
  • A copy of any statements made by the plaintiff
  • A copy of any witness statements
  • A history of how often accidents occur in a particular place, and how often a particular type of accident occurs there
  • Weather and traffic reports (when applicable)

If, for example, you’re injured when you trip over a broken piece of sidewalk, a reconstructionist might look into public records to see how long the sidewalk has been broken, how many other people were injured, and what the town has done to fix it. If you’re in a car wreck, the reconstructionist may review the crash data of your particular type of car as well as any known or alleged defects, in order to assess whether or not your injuries are “normal” for that kind of accident, or who is responsible for the crash.

The reconstructionist then works with your lawyer to show how you are not responsible for your accident or your injuries. He or she may also work hand-in-hand with law enforcement officials or medical professionals to help build your case.

Who can be a reconstructionist?

A real reconstructionist is usually a former law enforcement official or an engineer; sometimes he or she is both. The Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) is the most widely-recognized commission for reconstructionists, and has more than 1200 members throughout the world. The accreditation is granted to those who continue their education and pass a number of tests revolving around the science of safety.

A good accident reconstructionist can help make a complicated and difficult case easier by helping juries and judges understand the scope of your accident and your injuries. If you have been injured, call me today to see if we can help and whether or not your case needs a reconstrustionist to get involved as soon as possible.