Find an Expert Witness

Forensic, General & Medical
Expert Witnesses

Expert Witness Uses Blackbox Data to Create Accident Reconstruction

Whether the black box is in a smaller vehicle or in an airplane that encounters a collision or accident, the expert tasked with reconstructing the incident may use the item to determine more of what happened than without it. The expert witness in these cases may need to use various tools, equipment and enhancement methods to increase the viability of the data on the black box.

Recreating an accident is difficult without the proper tools. The black box is an event data recorder or may have other data that the expert witness could use to piece together the incident. This may involve trajectory, speeds of the car or both vehicles, electrical information from the automobile and the performance of the driver. When the incident leads to severe injury or great physical damage to the roads and cars, the reconstruction is important to determine fault and liability and who is responsible for paying out compensation. Knowing as much about the incident is essential to place the fault where it lies.

At Fault in the Incident

There are many states where the fault of the incident could either provide or prevent compensation payouts to the victim. In the situations where the victim is partially at fault, he or she may receive less or no
compensation at all even in a successful claim. This depends greatly on the at-fault laws in the state where the incident occurs. Some stop all monetary awards even if the victim or plaintiff is one percent responsible for the wreck. However, in other states, the fault is important to determine how much in monetary compensation that the victim may recover.

How to Recreate the Incident

The expert witness hired for the case or claim in either criminal or civil matters will need to use the data from the black box and other evidence from the scene. The time, date and weather patterns also provide more information about what occurred the day or night of the incident. Through piecing these items together, the expert may have a better picture of what happened and how it affected the driver of the vehicle. In situations with aircraft, weather may play a more important role. On the road, the expert may need to consider road conditions, other drivers and various other factors.

The event data from the black box type equipment in the vehicle provides necessary details in recreating the incident along with eyewitness testimony information. With both of these, the expert may construct a timetable of events. Through this, he or she may determine when and how something occurred. Then, it is not as difficult to consider who is liable for damages through fault or responsibility. The reconstructed incident provides the professional with an opinion he or she will present during his or her testimony along with any necessary report for the courts. Then, he or she may inform the judge or jury fully for a more informed deliberation.

The Complication in the Black Box

Many experts will struggle to recreate the incident if the make and model of the vehicle are too old to record sufficient data. However, the other evidence and witness statements may increase awareness of the accident where the black box proves unhelpful. The expert witness will have experience in multiple types of equipment that provide driver or flyer details. This may include electronic information that others are unable to read. The professional normally has a background that provides him or her an edge in understanding and applying such details to the case. Then, he or she may inform the courtroom fully about the incident.

Expert Witness Testimony with the Black Box Data

Once the expert is able to reconstruct the incident to the best of his or her ability, he or she often creates a report for the case or claim. This will detail the entire matter to include any methods or processes the professional used to form the foundation for his or her opinion on the matter. Once sufficient evidence and data are present, he or she will provide testimony in the courtroom before a judge or jury. He or she will express his or her opinion about the incident and what caused the collision or wreck.

The expert witness may need to connect a defendant to liability for compensation or to explain how a crime occurred. He or she will use evidence and the reconstruction to do so when hired for the accident claim or case.

Provided by

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

Find an Expert Witness