Frequently, we need the services of experts who can assist us in auto, truck, or motorcycle accident collisions. They can often tell us how fast vehicles were travelling before impact, the change in speed or velocity of the vehicles due to the crash (known as the delta-V), the angle/configuration of the impact, rotations and resting positions of the vehicles, and other valuable data.
These experts are also invaluable in measuring and pinpointing physical evidence like skid and yaw marks.
A recent case proves why it is generally a good idea to bring your expert to the scene.
In an intersection crash one of the issues was the speed of (let’s call him) driver A’s vehicle when he crashed into my clients’ car. He left a lengthy skid mark that was documented in the crash report. It roughly correlated to a speed of (let’s call it) X MPH at the time of braking…
All well and good. However, the investigating officer did not note in the crash report that the street where driver A was traveling had an uphill grade. When my expert examined the scene, he measured the degree of incline in the road. Because of the incline, it meant that driver A was actually going faster than what was originally thought, due to the fact that the skid mark was imparted on an uphill grade.
If the expert had not gone to the scene, this nuance would have been lost. In an intersection collision, a difference of a few MPH may make all the difference in establishing whether the collision was inevitable, or could have been avoided.
Another advantage that bringing your expert to the scene allows is the ability to create an actual scale drawing of the collision scene, if appropriate measurements are taken. This, along with the fact that your expert has thoroughly examined the scene, makes that expert more credible at trial.
It may cost a bit more to bring your expert to the scene, but it’s worth it, and it also sends a message to the insurance company that you’re taking the case seriously.