When a crime is committed and law enforcement agencies are not exactly sure how the incident occurred, they will often look to experts to help reconstruct the crime scene and determine exactly what happened. These experts use the available evidence combined with a knowledge of science, mathematics, and human behavior to develop an understanding of what took place and, in many cases, certain characteristics about the suspect.
The same can be done in auto accident situations when investigators are unclear on what happened and which driver was at fault for the crash. Auto accident reconstruction experts rely on physical evidence, information from the vehicles’ event data recorders, and eyewitness reports to determine which vehicles did what and who may be to blame. Thanks to the help of accident reconstructionists, the family of a man killed in last year in a North Canaan crash was able to claim a $5.3 million settlement from the at-fault party.
The accident in question occurred in May of 2016 on Canaan Road in North Canaan, Connecticut. According to court documents, a 74-year-old New York man and his wife were headed east when a westbound vehicle driven by a 19-year-old man came around the bend, crossed the center line, and hit the couple’s minivan head-on. The older man died at the scene and his wife suffered numerous injuries, including fractures in her shoulder, hands, feet, and leg.
Lawyers for the family of the victims say that the 19-year-old told investigators that the couple’s minivan had crossed the center line and caused the crash. His passenger testified during a deposition that he—the passenger—was engaged with his own cell phone when the crash occurred and could not remember exactly what happened. The injured woman also had no recollection of the events.
An accident reconstruction team, however, put the pieces of the crash back together and determined that the collision was not caused by the couple crossing the center line. Instead, it was the young man’s vehicle that was going too fast around the bend, causing him to cross the center line on a clear, sunny day with no visual obstructions or hazardous driving conditions. Due in part to the team’s findings, the young man was charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle.
The woman’s injuries have forced to undergo at least five surgeries already, and her medical bills have exceeded $400,000. She and her family filed suit earlier this year against the 19-year-old driver and his mother—who owned the car he was driving at the time. The suit also sought compensation for the wrongful death of the woman’s husband.
In June, the family agreed to accept $5.3 million settlement. The entire amount will be paid by the mother’s insurance company.
Seek Help With Your Case
If you have been injured in a car crash, an accident reconstructionist could help determine who is at fault for your injuries. At Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we maintain a strong network of reconstructionists, and we are ready to go to work on your behalf. Contact one of our experienced Hartford personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.