Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone. We certainly don’t plan for them and, in most cases, can’t prevent them either. However, there is something you can do when an accident victim approaches your firm: Rely on our trained experts to fully and methodically investigate the incident.
Avalon’s Accident Reconstruction Unit (ARU) team has over 175 years of combined experience in law enforcement (including currently active and former officers) and over 110 years of combined experience investigating all types of incidents from transportation collisions, premises accidents, and product failures, both criminally and civilly.
We are experts in forensic mapping and diagramming of motor vehicle collisions involving property damage, physical injury, and death, as well as crimes ranging from violations to felonies. ARU team members have investigated and reconstructed thousands of incidents in cooperation with federal, state, and local police agencies, District Attorneys’ offices, and numerous clients in New York State and throughout the East Coast.
We hope that you will consider Avalon’s ARU your go-to provider when your clients are involved in a pedestrian or vehicular accident or have suffered from a product or premises incident. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Avalon was founded in 2000 as a legal copy company that prided itself on high-quality products and a high level of customer service. We still provide the traditional legal copy services that got us started, but we have evolved to provide a wide array of niche document services including scanning, managed office services, cybersecurity, eDiscovery, and digital forensics.
To strengthen our role in the digital forensics field, Avalon formalized a strategic partnership with DIGITS LLC in 2016. DIGITS was founded in 2006 as a computer forensics company, and expanded to include the Accident Reconstruction Unit in May 2013, as motor vehicles had become increasingly sophisticated and found their way into the world of forensics. Today, Avalon’s ARU team continues to be expertly trained, fully equipped, and highly capable of investigating any transportation, product, or premises accident.
Our company has evolved to include over 160 team members in nine offices across five states, servicing clients all over the U.S. At our core, we are problem solvers. We work hard to find solutions to our clients’ challenges and continue to prove that no one can out-service our team.
The experienced team at Avalon’s Accident Reconstruction Unit has investigated and reconstructed thousands of motor vehicle collisions. Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, hardware, and software, our team is capable of thoroughly investigating all types of collisions, including:
- Single and multi-vehicle accidents
- Commercial vehicle collisions
- High-speed fatality collisions
- Pedestrian-vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle and bicycle collisions
The steps involved in the process of a reconstruction can vary depending on the circumstances of the incident. In most cases, the process begins with an inspection of the accident site. At the site, measurements are taken of evidence left by the vehicles such as point of impact to final resting positions, skid marks, scrub marks, and gouge marks. Other factors such as visibility and weather conditions are also noted during a scene investigation.
Inspection of the vehicles is another major part of the investigation. During an inspection, our team will assess the damage to all vehicles. The mechanical components of the vehicles such as brakes, steering, tires, suspension, lights, etc. may also be inspected to determine if all systems were functioning correctly or if they may have been a contributing factor to the accident. The investigation might also include looking at driver qualifications, auditing logbooks, or reviewing other materials regarding motor carrier compliance. If the vehicles involved in the accident are equipped with a black box, the information it contains will likely be downloaded and analyzed.
Once the investigation is complete, reconstruction of the incident begins. Information such as pre- and post-impact direction of travel, length of pre-impact skid marks, post-impact distances moved, friction values for the various surfaces the vehicles traveled over, point of impact, impact angles, and weights of the vehicles are common inputs used in equations designed to reconstruct an accident.
Precision hardware and software can be used to reconstruct a wide range of incidents and events. The more data collected at the scene of the incident, the more detailed the analyses and, thus, the stronger the conclusions.
Our ARU team uses the following tools during investigations:
- Crash Data Retrieval Technology (for passenger cars, light trucks, and large commercial vehicles) – images modules to obtain valuable and unbiased crash-related data
- Electronic Total Work Station– precision measuring equipment used to capture specific scene measurements for diagrams and mathematical calculations
- Forensic CAD– measurement collection equipment used to create 3D, 2D, and animated diagrams
- Mathematic Software– used to assist with calculating forces at work during an event (e.g., speeds, momentum, time/distance analysis
- 360-Degree Imagery – distortion-free 360-degree images allow users to navigate in any direction to establish exactly what was seen by involved parties and witnesses
- Video Analysis/Enhancement– surveillance equipment used to analyze time/distance, sequence of events, overall incident timing, and potentially fraudulent claims
- Drones– capture high-definition photographs and video and provide 90˚ images for use in scale diagrams; allow access to busy and dangerous roadways and areas where only authorized personnel are allowed
But, the most critical tool of all is our Collision Reconstruction Experts. They collect, analyze, and interpret available data to offer expert opinions regarding causation and liability.
Black Box Download and Analysis
Black box data is highly sensitive and can be erased or overwritten if not handled properly, which is why you should strongly consider working with an accident reconstruction expert. Members of Avalon’s ARU team have provided investigation and reconstruction of thousands of motor vehicle collisions involving property damage, physical injury, and death for numerous clients and agencies in the private sector.
We use Bosch Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) hardware and software during our investigations, which is used by law enforcement professionals nationwide and has been accepted by courts throughout the U.S. This equipment downloads (images) airbag modules and powertrain control modules located in passenger vehicles and light trucks. The stored data provide an unbiased view of vehicle operation in the seconds before a collision.
Greater than 88% of all model year 2016 and new vehicles are supported by the Bosch CDR tool. This enables the retrieval of data stored in the Event Data Record (EDR) following a crash. The data collected by the CDR system includes; vehicle speed, throttle position, braking, seatbelt usage, and much more. Typically, five seconds of pre-crash data is stored in the EDR. However, data storage varies significantly by year, make, and model. It’s always best to consult with a CDR expert to determine exactly what information can be recovered.
Our crash reconstructionists are also trained, certified, and equipped for the forensic imaging of commercial motor vehicle engine control modules (ECMs), including Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Paccar, International, Mack, and Volvo.
As is the case in most instances, hiring a qualified expert early in the process is can be a major factor in successfully proving or defending your case. The unbiased evidence obtained from airbag modules and powertrain control modules can be a real game changer.
- Reconstruction Types
- Crash Reconstruction
- Black Box Analysis
- Expert Witness Testimony
- Drone Photography
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To serve as an expert witness in the United States, a person must meet a number of legal requirements, including establishing his or her competency and offering scientific, technical, or other types of specialized knowledge. He or she can then provide a truthful, impartial, and independent opinion in their area of expertise.
But there’s more to it than just having an encyclopedic knowledge of a complicated subject. An expert witness should be an excellent communicator who is able to explain a topic effortlessly, so that it can be easily understood by laypeople. He or she should also serve as a team player and be willing to take direction from counsel, yet ready to offer a critique of your case and point out potential pitfalls, if they find any.
Each of our ARU professionals has extensive training in providing accurate, articulate, and reliable testimony, and has years of experience providing expert opinions in federal, state, and local courts throughout New York State. Testimony records for each team member are available upon request.
Our ARU team uses drone photography and video during investigations. Drones capture high-definition photographs and video from an aerial perspective and provide 90˚ images for use in scale diagrams, and allow access to busy and dangerous roadways and areas where only authorized personnel are allowed.
See our drones in action
Drone Demo Avalon’s Accident Reconstruction
Accident Reconstruction Drone
Accident Reconstruction Drone – Short