HELP! If YOU or someone you know has been in a crash!

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brian
Posts: 500
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:52 am

HELP! If YOU or someone you know has been in a crash!

Post by brian »

Q: Have YOU or someone you know been involved in an crash aka accident and need HELP?
A: In many cases over the years we have assisted individuals involved in crashes/accidents to help them sort out the facts and circumstances of the accident/collision.
The initial and main assistance is to instruct them to try to accumulate all the information on the accident including police reports, measurements, photographs, witness statements, etc. This is extremely important!
The field of accident/collision reconstruction includes specialized applications of the fundamental laws of physics which require information/evidence about the collision;
  • tire marks,
  • damage to the vehicles,
  • scene information, etc.
Please read our general introduction Crash Reconstruction Techniques and Accuracy
With this information any competent accident/collision reconstructionist should be able to perform a preliminary evaluation to ascertain initial impressions and some form of preliminary opinions.
Questions like:
  • What happened?
  • What were the approximate speeds?
  • What were the circumstances which led to the collision/accident?
  • Was the accident avoidable?
  • Who caused the accident?
Some of these questions can be answered quickly, others may take time to fully investigate and draw proper conclusions.
You also try to photograph the damage to each vehicles and the overall scene location in the event police do not take photographs or do not take adequate photographs.
Here is a quick list of things to photograph or have photographed:
  • VEHICLE: The overall vehicles (BOTH if possible) from all directions to show vehicle condition and damage
    • Take these 8 photos of both vehicle if possible and then
      • any closeups you decide to take
      • be sure to take additional photos backed away from your closeups so anyone can determine what item is in the closeup and where it is located
      8 locations for pictures of damaged vehicle.2jpg.jpg
      8 locations for pictures of damaged vehicle.2jpg.jpg (23.23 KiB) Viewed 1167 times
  • SCENE: The rest positions of each vehicle. be sure to think of the clock pictured above and also try to include BOTH vehicles in some pictures (so relative locations can be determined). There are techniques to determine the positions of vehicles from photographs (photogrammetry) in the event the relative positions are not measured.
    Views from the overall direction of travel for each vehicle (pretend you are the driver what would you see prior to the collision?)
    • You should then back up at 25, 50, 100 foot distance to show the view for each driver approaching the location of the crash
      • obviously from shoulder if busy road. SAFETY FIRST!
      Road signage and general overall views at the time of the crash are important.
      if any indication of the vehicle out of control at the crash be sure to also include areas offroad preceding the crash
    Take photos of everything since a common mistake is to take too few photographs or closeup photograph of items at unknown locations.
    If you zoom in, zoom out and walk back and take another couple photographs of marks, gouges, skids, debris, etc

When we assist people involved in collisions, we try to emphasize that the police are not their enemy! Many people involved in collisions come to us with blood in their eye because they think that the police/prosecutor “are out to get them”!).
That is not the case in most circumstances.
  • With an informal initial impression and preliminary opinion from a qualified expert in accident reconstructionI a subsequent discussion with the police investigator about the particulars of the accident/collision may resolve things (Over the years it has happened on many occasions). Particularly if it is something perhaps the police have overlooked and/or misinterpreted. That is how we as accident/collision investigators and reconstructionists are supposed to do our job!
    Many, if not all, of the 'pro bono' cases we have done have been resolved without our having to travel or incur expenses except for spending a little of our time assisting those involved in an accident with understanding the circumstances of the accident.
    Sometimes we write a report/affidavit to assist them in their defense. Sometimes we have suggested that they use the information we have provided to them and contact a local expert for additional assistance.

We have often thought about forming some form of an ‘Innocence Project’ type association to be used to assist folks ‘before the verdict’ (since the current ‘Innocence Project' is for folks already convicted). We just haven’t found the time and/or funds to move forward on that idea.
  • The average person involved in a collision/accident does not have adequate resources when compared to the police/prosecutors offices. It takes considerable effort to sift through all the information and evidence in accidents/collisions. The creation of a 3rd party objective panel to review the evidence and police work 'before the verdict' would be justified and beneficial to avoid unwarranted prosecution. I believe in Europe this is how cases are handled. The Judge hires two independent accident reconstructionists/investigators. They come to conclusions. If they agree. case closed. If not, a 3rd party is brought in to settle the dispute.
    If YOU have been in an collision/accident and need assistance, please email us at mchenry@mchenrysoftware.com or contact someone in your area who does collision reconstruction. Be prepared with the circumstances of your situation including the police report, if possible, and perhaps you can get some needed assistance.
Contact information is:
Question? Comment? Please email forum@mchenrysoftware.com. Also see the McHenry Forum Index
Visit McHenrySoftware.com for technical information & software. McHenryConsultants.com for litigation consulting.
(c) McHenry Software, Inc ALL Rights Reserved.

Steve Stockinger

Re: HELP! If YOU or someone you know has been in a crash!

Post by Steve Stockinger »

New here and seeing stuff for the first time.
This is pretty good stuff.
Steve Stockinger
retired detective

MSI
Site Admin
Posts: 1426
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:37 pm

Re: HELP! If YOU or someone you know has been in a crash!

Post by MSI »

In another forum someone posted up a description of a crash somewhere in Europe which included the question: Jul2020: We've moved our response previously posted here to a separate topic in the forum CRASH & Damage/Momentum Analysis
And we added these introductory sentences:
  • This topic/response was prepared to assist anyone in event a police department or expert has used and presented PC-CRASH (or other simulation program) as PROOF of a theory...PC-CRASH is a very widely used software product however we have found that it can be easy to manipulate the results sometimes to support a preconceived opinion. Any PC-CRASH (or other simulation program) PROOF (and videos created as a result) need to be carefully examined as they might be a smokescreen.
  • All crash reconstruction and simulation software products are interesting and useful products however as with ANY product users must exercise caution when using and be sure to check the veracity of any results.
  • We always recommend that crash reconstruction simulation software be used to test and refine opinions which also sometimes means testing alternate theories.
Question? Comment? Please email forum@mchenrysoftware.com. Also see the McHenry Forum Index
Visit McHenrySoftware.com for technical information & software.
(c) McHenry Software, Inc ALL Rights Reserved.

MSI
Site Admin
Posts: 1426
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:37 pm

Re: HELP! If YOU or someone you know has been in a crash!

Post by MSI »

updated first part with tips for taking photographs of crash vehicles and scene
Question? Comment? Please email forum@mchenrysoftware.com. Also see the McHenry Forum Index
Visit McHenrySoftware.com for technical information & software.
(c) McHenry Software, Inc ALL Rights Reserved.

MSI
Site Admin
Posts: 1426
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:37 pm

Re: HELP! If YOU or someone you know has been in a crash!

Post by MSI »

Jul2020: We moved our response to a question previously posted here to a separate topic in the forum CRASH & Damage/Momentum Analysis
We also added some introductory sentences.
Question? Comment? Please email forum@mchenrysoftware.com. Also see the McHenry Forum Index
Visit McHenrySoftware.com for technical information & software.
(c) McHenry Software, Inc ALL Rights Reserved.

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