An accident involving a large truck can happen in just a few seconds. With all of the freeways that surround and crisscross Chicago, such accidents are not infrequent. Usually, the persons in the vehicle are not aware of the accident until the critical events have occurred. Some accidents are witnessed by people in other vehicles, but most often, the accident happens so rapidly that no one can provide an accurate description of what happened. Anyone who suffered an injury in the accident or lost a loved one may wonder how to collect enough evidence to prepare a case for court. The frequent answer to this question is “hire an accident reconstruction expert.”

What does an accident reconstruction expert do?

Accident reconstruction experts come in many shapes and sizes, but most of them are engineers of one sort or another. They are trained to examine the scene of the accident for information about vehicle speed, impact damage, a vehicle’s resistance to impact and similar information. Reconstruction specialist often operate as teams. The members of the team help each other photograph the scene, measure tread length and inspect the remains of any vehicles that were involved. Members of the team also inspect the scene for traffic markers and whether traffic controls such as stoplights were functioning properly. If witnesses are available, members of the team will interview them and take written statements.

An accident reconstruction engineer may also prepare a computer animation of the accident using information collected from the scene. In certain cases, chemical tests are required to document whether a vehicle’s safety systems were functioning.

The final steps

The reconstruction team will prepare a report for its client describing the accident and answering the critical question of why it occurred. The reconstruction specialist can provide a definitive and scientific explanation of the factors caused the accident, including any negligence by the driver or defect in the functioning of the vehicle. The report may be used in court or presented to an insurance company in support of the claim for damages. Experienced accident attorneys will usually recommend hiring an accident reconstruction specialist if the case has enough value to justify the expense.