What is a Forensic Car Accident Investigator?
If you have consulted a car accident lawyer serving Lakeland, FL, you may have heard mention of a forensic car accident investigator. Though not every injury claim requires the contributions of this type of investigator, they can be invaluable when proof of liability is in question. A common example is when someone is seriously injured in a car accident that someone else caused, but the at-fault driver’s insurance company has denied the claim. Alternately, if the insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement, your car accident lawyer may take them to court. During the trial, your Lakeland, FL car accident lawyer may call a forensic car accident investigator to the stand to testify in support of your case.
On what is a forensic car accident investigator’s conclusions based?
- Collision physics. The investigator bases their conclusions in large part on what is known as collision physics. Collision physics considers the momentum and kinetic energy of objects. In this context, the objects are usually two or more automobiles. When two autos collide, momentum (or forward motion) is negatively affected but the kinetic energy is not. Your car accident lawyer can call on the investigator to determine the total momentum by measuring the cars’ masses and the distance they travelled together. The investigator also takes into account drag forces. In this way, the speed of one car can be determined if the second car was stationary. If both cars were moving, the total momentum can still offer the investigator clues as to how the accident occurred.
- Time-distance calculations. When a car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL needs to determine how fast one or more cars were travelling before the collision occurred, the investigator may be able to provide this critical information. Speed and time multiplied provides distance. Distance can be calculated based on these variables. Total braking distance and time can also be calculated.
- Physical evidence at the accident scene. Another clue that the investigator looks for is a skid mark. If one or more are present, the investigator can measure their length and factor in variables such as drag factor and braking efficiency. This can reveal the car’s minimal speed when it started to skid. This is invaluable when the car accident lawyer for Lakeland, FL wants to prove which driver or drivers used their brakes or if the car(s) was sliding or accelerating. Other key physical evidence at the scene is debris that helps indicated the actual location of the crash because in most cases, the vehicles are removed immediately after the accident.
- Photographs and/or video taken immediately after the accident. Whether this is provided by the responding law enforcement officer, eyewitnesses, or by the victims themselves, these images can show the investigator the locations of vehicles and other key evidence. Your car accident lawyer can introduce these images as evidence in court or include them in an injury claim.
- Knowledge about the vehicles involved. For example, if a door was crushed in the impact, knowing how many pounds per square inch of force is necessary for that result for that particular make and model of vehicle can help determine speed and other variables. The investigator can research this information which is available from the vehicle manufacturer.
If you sustained a severe injury in a collision and would like to talk with an experienced car accident lawyer in Lakeland, FL about recovering damages from the responsible party, call David & Philpot, PL today!