An October Church Fall Festival turned deadly when a sixth grade teacher allegedly lost control of her vehicle due to a possible pedal malfunction, killing a 15 year girl and critically injuring her younger sister. The driver, Roseanne Piccirilli, cannot be formally charged until the findings of the “freak accident” are revealed. In minor car accidents, when all parties involved are able to give an account of the accident, police officers typically do not need more information before filing a report. However, in more complex vehicle accidents where drivers, passengers, and pedestrians have been severely injured or killed, police, and even lawyers, need more information for the case. According to a Wisconsin Auto Accident Attorney, a successful auto accident claim relies on resources from investigators, doctors, numerous experts and a knowledgeable team specializing in accident reconstruction. While the “he said, she said” story, along with eye witness accounts, will often set a lawsuit in motion, more quantitative data is needed in order for accident victims to receive a fair compensation for financial and physical suffering related to the accident.
If in the Event of an Accident…
According to the National Safety Council, 1 in 11 drivers will be involved in a car accident each year. While car accidents range from a small fender bender to a distracted driver to a fatal “unexplained” crash, drivers should be well equipped with the knowledge of what to do if he or she is involved in or witnesses an accident. Many accidents require legal assistance and any information, regarding the crash, is invaluable to investigators and lawyers. If you were in involved in an accident, would you know what to do? Here are the “basics”, if you are ever involved in an accident, as it is pertinent to any police report or accident claim.
- When you are involved in an accident, be sure to STOP your vehicle if you are able and it’s safe and legal.
- Depending on where you live, you may be able to move your car out of harm’s way. In some states, however, your case will be more or less tossed aside if you move your car out of the way, as you have technically altered valuable evidence.
- Call the police and emergency services if you or anyone else is injured. Even the smallest of injuries may need attending to.
- Gather any information you can. Get the names of all parties involved in the accident, including witnesses. Draw a quick sketch or note of your account of what happened or the placement of the vehicles involved in the accident. Time can be your worst enemy when it comes to recounting important details of your accident. Even if you think you have a flawless memory, you may be surprised how the details can change and fade.
In a perfect world, you will never be involved in an accident and if you are, collecting data is your “worst case scenario”, but often times, many drivers, passengers, and pedestrians never have the chance to share their account of what happened. Police reports are unfinished, families hire attorneys to seek justice, and a crash remains a mystery until more detailed information comes along. This critical time is when crash teams, specializing in accident reconstruction, come to the rescue.
Accident Reconstruction: Solving the mystery and tragedy of an Automobile Accident.
In the complex, heartbreaking case involving driver, Roseanne Piccirilli and the young victims, the police and family rely on the scientific findings from an accident reconstruction team. An accident reconstruction team looks at every detail of the accident and before a “reconstructionist” can join an invaluable team, he/she must have at least 10 weeks of rigorous training specializing in all kinds of accidents including motorcycles to larger vehicles. A Reconstructionist walks through the crash scene numerous times, performing tests that rely heavily on math, engineering, computer science and physics.
While an eye witness, the injured victim, or Piccirilli, herself, has their own account of what happened during the crash, a reconstruction team has an unbiased opinion based on science, alone. In this particular case, where the gas pedal may be at fault, the crash team may consider the height of the driver, the placement of the floor mat, the age of the driver, the health of the driver, and the mechanics of the vehicle; as all can be related in a pedal misapplication crash.
Crash teams have helped solve the mysterious accident behind Hollywood icon James Dean’s death to the unfortunate everyday automobile accident. A reconstruction team will also examine specific details of the accident to aid the police, lawyers, and families looking for answers. A crash team investigates and performs:
- Impact speeds
- Point of Impact Placement and the Magnitude of the Impact
- Time Distance Analysis
- Seatbelt Usage
- Air Bag Deployment
- Analysis of Reports already Taken or Filed
While it may take weeks to months to gather and analyze data from the scene of an automobile accident, the information that a reconstruction team gathers is invaluable for a pending lawsuit and a grieving family.
If you are ever unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, would you rather rely on the eye witness account of a pedestrian on the sidewalk or the scientific and thorough training of an accident reconstruction team?