Accident investigation and reconstruction is an important part of dealing with the aftermath of truck crashes. It is very important to discover what happened and why, and to understand the extent of damage. It is also necessary to determine who or what is responsible. All of this aids in determining how future truck accidents can be prevented. Crash investigation must be thorough, and often requires crash scene reconstruction, something that involves the expertise of forensic specialists, engineers, and many others.
Truck Accident Investigation
The first step that is taken after any truck crash is a detailed investigation of the event. This starts at the accident site, with a thorough examination of the vehicles, the grounds, the damage that occurred, and more. Everything from skid marks, to the angle at which the crashed vehicles landed will be considered, as well as the condition of various parts of each vehicle and the injuries sustained by any of the parties involved.
Once the accident scene has been inspected, the vehicles themselves will be carefully taken apart so the various components, like brakes, suspension and other mechanical parts, can be further examined for damage, or for anything else that could explain how the accident occurred. Additionally, truck maintenance and driver records will be examined, and things such as traffic, road, and weather conditions will be documented to form a complete investigation record of the incident that can be used later, should accident reconstruction be necessary.
Reconstructing the Accident
With the data obtained at the accident scene, truck crashes can be reconstructed by applying physics to determine things such as how fast each vehicle was traveling, what their positions likely were when the accident occurred, and other calculated details. By determining this information, and applying it in conjunction with details like friction and force of impact, engineers and forensic specialists are able to get a better idea of what happened. After determining what happened, the reconstruction continues to eventually determine why the truck accident happened, and whether the cause is mechanical failure, a problem with the road surface, driver error or something else!
How Trucks Behave in Accidents
It is a well known fact that large trucks behave differently in accidents than other vehicles do. This has been proven time and again through accident investigations and reconstruction. Physics states that larger, heavier objects traveling at highway speed require more time to stop than smaller, lighter ones. A reconstructionist can base their reconstruction efforts on these factors to recreate an accident scene. An understanding of how physics applies to these vehicles, and the materials they are constructed from, is especially important in cases where investigations are incomplete, or there is not enough physical evidence available to form a complete picture of what occurred. In these cases, a specialist can at least use the knowledge of what is already known and accepted in terms of truck behavior under various conditions, to eventually determine the most likely scenario of what happened, and why.
Truck crashes are serious events, often resulting in extreme damage that commonly includes serious injuries, fatalities and more. Careful investigation and reconstruction of truck accidents is critical in determining their cause, both for legal purposes and accident study. Only by understanding the reasons why truck accidents happen can they be prevented in the future!
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Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190
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