Bicycling is a hugely popular pastime in the United States, and more than 46 million Americans spent time on their bicycle in 2013. Unfortunately, when bicycle riders and car drivers share roads, accidents are almost inevitable. If you need to file a lawsuit to claim compensation for a personal injury that occurs while you are riding your bicycle, you will probably need to enlist the help of several experts. Find out why you might hire a reconstruction expert, and learn more about the support these professionals can bring to your personal injury lawsuit.
The basics of bicycle accident liability
Car drivers and bicycle riders must always follow the rules of the road. What's more, local authorities must make sure that roads and cycle paths are safe to use. In many cases, bicycle riders face the same issues that car drivers face in auto accident lawsuits. If you or someone you love suffers an injury on a bicycle and it wasn't your fault, you must prove that somebody else was negligent.
Bicycle accidents can occur for several reasons. In many accidents, injuries occur because of the car driver's negligence. For example, he or she may run a red light or drive too fast. In other cases, an accident can occur because the road or pathway is unsafe. Of course, sometimes, the bicyclist does something that also causes the accident.
In any lawsuit, the plaintiff and defendant will both want to prove that the other party was negligent. Very often, it's difficult to prove something like this, which is why some people hire bicycle accident reconstruction experts.
Services that a reconstruction expert can offer
A personal injury attorney must present a compelling case to the court that proves who caused an accident. Due to the complexity of each situation, an attorney will often call a bicycle accident reconstruction specialist as an expert witness.
Bicycle accident reconstruction focuses on the technical and engineering aspects of an accident. A skilled expert will compile evidence from multiple sources and will often build a detailed model or reconstruction of the accident. The reconstruction will generally examine all the events leading up to the accident and all other contributing factors.
Reconstruction brings scientific and engineering expertise to a lawsuit. An expert in this field can help you prove how an incident occurred, helping a judge cut through subjective or unsubstantiated allegations
Evidence a reconstruction expert will use
A reconstruction expert will draw on information and evidence from multiple sources to show exactly how an accident occurred. Evidence he or she may use can include:
- Photographs taken at the scene
- Lines and markings drawn on the road
- Police statements
- Eyewitness accounts
- Bicycle or car damage reports
With this evidence (and more), reconstruction experts can often calculate a precise measure of the force with which a car struck a bicyclist. In turn, this information can accurately show the speed at which the car was traveling. This evidence could prove crucial if a bicyclist needs to prove that a car driver was speeding.
The evidence that a reconstruction expert compiles is generally more compelling than other information. For example, a police officer will often draw a simple sketch or diagram of the situation, but this picture will not normally show a complete set of measurements. By using geometric reconstruction, an expert can draw attention to small, but crucial details that a police officer would overlook.
Thousands of bicyclists suffer serious injuries every year because of negligent drivers and unsafe roads and pathways. While an attorney can help you file a lawsuit, you may need a reconstruction expert to help your lawyer prove somebody else's negligence. Click here for additional info on making your injury claim.