Investigating the Causes of a Motorcycle Accident
Rarely will those responsible for a motorcycle accident readily pay the injured victim the full damages to which they are entitled. This is why you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side. The California motorcycle accident lawyer will investigate your motorcycle crash and assemble the evidence necessary to protect your rights.
Interviewing the Motorcycle Accident’s Witnesses
Your motorcycle accident lawyer will interview participants and bystanders who witnessed your motorcycle crash. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will talk to a number of people to gather evidence for your case. These may include:
- The rider and passenger. As the people directly involved in the motorcycle wreck, you and any passenger you had have valuable information to share with your motorcycle accident attorney. Your lawyer will ask about the road conditions at the time of the motorcycle crash, other nearby vehicles, what you observed, and other key details.
- The other vehicle’s driver and passengers. Your lawyer will attempt to interview the driver and passengers of any other vehicle involved in the motorcycle wreck. The other driver may be unwilling to speak to your attorney or may already have hired an attorney of his own. If so, then after a lawsuit is filed, your attorney will be able to interview him under oath through a formal procedure known as a deposition.
- Other eyewitnesses. Others may have witnessed your motorcycle accident, such as pedestrians, other drivers and shop workers. As disinterested onlookers from various vantage points, they may be able to share information about the motorcycle crash that could prove valuable in making your case.
- Emergency response personnel. Police, ambulance and fire department personnel who responded to the motorcycle accident to investigate and care for the injured will have valuable information to share with your lawyer and other investigators. Police will also have written reports of what they found at the scene of the motorcycle wreck that your motorcycle accident attorney will want to review.
Reconstructing the Motorcycle Accident
Thorough investigation of the causes of a motorcycle accident will determine whether a vehicle defect, another driver or another entity was at fault. In order to do this, the experienced California motorcycle crash attorneys may decide to consult with experts in motorcycle accident reconstruction.
Motorcycle accident reconstructionists gather data about road conditions, weather, human actions and vehicle condition. They then analyze it to infer the sequence of events that led up to the motorcycle accident.
In order to determine the likely cause of the motorcycle accident, the reconstructionist will often begin by looking at police reports. These typically include witness statements, photos of the motorcycle accident scene and measurements of skid marks. In addition, motorcycle accident reconstructionists have several tools to help in their analysis:
- Event data recorders. Some newer cars have a crash data recorder similar to the so-called “black box” recorders used in aircraft. It records five seconds of data prior to deployment of a car’s air bag, showing vehicle speed, engine speed and acceleration or deceleration. If the car involved in your motorcycle accident was so equipped, the accident reconstructionist will use the data to help determine what happened.
- Global positioning system. Data from a GPS system can reveal the location, direction and speed of a vehicle at a given time.
- Photogrammetry. Photogrammetry uses measurements taken from photographs to help determine how an accident happened. It is similar to land surveying. A photogrammetrist will compare photos taken at the time of the crash with his own calibrated photos of the crash scene to develop precise measurements.
Based on these and other tests, the motorcycle accident reconstruction expert will draw up a diagram or computer animation of the motorcycle accident. This may include information on where braking began, evidencing a motorcycle accident participant’s knowledge that a dangerous situation was at hand. It may also show location of impact, movement of the vehicles after impact and the places where they came to rest. If computer animation is used, the circumstances that led to the motorcycle accident may be viewable from several angles.
Some motorcycle accident reconstructionists are also expert at determining if a vehicle’s mechanical or design defect contributed to the motorcycle accident. These professionals must have a thorough knowledge not only of accident reconstruction principles but also of motorcycle and automobile mechanics. A reputable motorcycle accident attorney will employ the services of such experts if the circumstances of the motorcycle accident indicate that a mechanical or equipment failure may have led to the motorcycle wreck.
After all this information is gathered and analyzed, the motorcycle accident reconstruction expert should be able to give an opinion as to some or all of the causes of the motorcycle accident. This expert’s testimony may be key to helping your lawyer prove your motorcycle accident was caused by another party or entity, and that you are therefore entitled to compensation.