Car accidents usually happen in the blink of an eye, causing devastating injuries to those involved and leaving behind drivers and passengers who recall only fragmented moments of the wreck. A lack of other witnesses can make proving negligence difficult, especially when injured individuals try to seek compensation for their losses. Our attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm assist with building a personal injury case and assigning an accident reconstruction lawyer to discover where the fault lies in the wreck, what caused it and whether any negligent acts directly caused other people’s injuries.
How Do Most Car Accidents Happen?
While poor road and weather conditions can contribute to car accidents, many occur because of driver inattention or negligence. The National Highway Traffic Safety Institution notes that more than 3,500 drivers lost their lives in 2021 in accidents connected with distracted driving. Cell phone usage, such as talking or trying to follow GPS maps, causes many accidents, while other actions such as eating and drinking, grooming and interacting with passengers result in collisions.
Some car accidents occur because of complete negligence on behalf of the other driver. People who knowingly drink and drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drive with aggression and speed all act negligently, and our attorneys can examine how breaching duty of care caused the wreck once they begin reconstruction.
What Is Accident Reconstruction?
Our attorneys use accident reconstruction to visually reverse the way a car wreck occurred. They consider a variety of factors, including:
- The speed limit in the area of the wreck
- The angle of the collision
- Damage at impact points on the vehicles
- Visibility for each driver at the time of the wreck
- The presence of road and warning signs
Road surface conditions at the time of the accident may also provide our attorneys with further information that could prove useful in a personal injury case. They can review factors such as the width of the road, whether the accident occurred at an intersection and whether any skidmarks present might provide clues about either vehicle’s speed at the time of the accident.
What Steps Do Accident Reconstruction Lawyers Take To Find Facts?
In at-fault states such as South Carolina, injured drivers can sue those who they believe caused a serious car crash by seeking compensation through the defendant’s insurance company or from the defendant directly. This makes compelling accident reconstruction a key ingredient during the trial.
Our attorneys reconstruct accident scenes by reviewing the scene itself and then gathering data from eyewitnesses, documents and photos. They then often work backward to fill in missing data, much like plugging in values in an equation. The more useful data they uncover, the stronger a case’s foundation.
How Is Accident Reconstruction Useful?
When accidents occur, drivers and passengers have only seconds to react, and during the point of impact, shock, pain or distress can blot out specific memories. This makes proving negligence difficult; however, accident reconstruction is a useful tool that allows our attorneys to set the events of the wreck in reverse and draw away details they can use to build a solid foundation for a car accident injury settlement.
Individuals injured in car crashes may have only a few memories of how the accident occurred or which actions they took directly before the impact. This often reduces the opportunity to meet the burden of proof in court, as judges examine evidence, not emotion, to arrive at the truth.
Lending weight to witness conflicts
Those who see a car crash happen may still have dramatically different accounts of how it happened and who caused it. For example, if a car crash occurs at an intersection at the bottom of a hill, individuals standing at the top of the rise may see larger details, while those near the impact area may notice smaller details. An accident reconstruction lawyer’s experience can lend weight to different types of eyewitness testimony.
Filling evidence gaps
When a car accident case goes to trial and the jury listens to testimony, jurors often find themselves frustrated when key pieces of evidence are incomplete. Our accident reconstruction attorneys can fill in those gaps and create a clear picture for the jury.
Creating compelling visual evidence for jurors
Jurors appreciate visual evidence because it usually contains key details that assist them in making the most informed decision possible regarding the verdict. Our attorneys recreate accidents in a way that allows the jury to view the scene, note the traveling direction of each vehicle and where the vehicles collided. Visual evidence can lend greater support to a client’s case and allow jurors to connect evidence with any testimony they hear.
Before a car crash personal injury case goes to trial, our attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm use accident reconstruction, as well as a few other tools, to help support and create our clients’ cases.
What Documents Do Car Accident Reconstruction Lawyers Use?
Because factual evidence is the strongest base for proving a personal injury case, our attorneys use a variety of documents to connect the dots of a wreck’s outcome and to support the claims of our clients, no matter the circumstances or the types of injuries they suffered in the wreck.
Insurance adjustor reports
When insurance adjustors examine the scene of an accident and produce a report, our accident reconstruction attorneys can glean details from it, such as photographs, to meet the burden of proof in court. Damage descriptions also help support other facts, such as the directions each vehicle was traveling at the time of impact.
While no two car accidents happen the same way, medical reports help our attorneys create connections between our clients’ injuries and a few common types of trauma that often occur during a crash. For example, if a client has major damage to the spine, a diagnosis of whiplash may support the claim that the other driver’s negligence caused a rear-end collision.
When the police arrive at a car accident scene, they take down facts related to the wreck, such as the time of day, whether speed may have been a factor, the names of everyone involved and whether any victims required immediate medical care. Police on the scene usually documentation of any visible injuries as well.
Car wrecks often include environmental aspects, such as weather conditions, traffic patterns, the presence of school and construction zones and pedestrian traffic. These factors may affect drivers’ moods and cause frustration that could lead to road rage and inattentive driving.
What Are Punitive Damages?
A judge may award those injured in a serious car accident punitive damages, which exist to punish those found guilty of extreme negligence and to deter them from such actions in the future. Negligence related to car accidents may include several acts, including:
- Operating a vehicle without permission
- Driving recklessly
Our accident reconstruction attorneys work to assign a value to any car crash injury case, including the cost of pain and suffering.
We Handle Car Accident Injury Cases
When serious car accidents happen and injured individuals want to take the first step in building a personal injury case, our car accident lawyers stand ready to help. Call The Jeffcoat Firm today at 803-200-2000 for further information and to schedule a free consultation.