Injury Biomechanics - Considerations for Motor Vehicle Accidents
December 6th 2022
One of the more common incidents that the Injury Biomechanics expert may be asked to review is a motor vehicle accident (MVA). There are multiple factors that need to be considered in an Accident Reconstruction and Injury Biomechanics analysis of a MVA. Below are some factors that should be considered by the Injury Biomechanics expert. Note, this is not an exhaustive list. Our previous blog focused specifically on low-speed collisions, but this post will expand to include all MVA's involving passenger vehicles (excluding heavy vehicles).
The Police Accident Report and all photographs, witness statements, and data/measurements are initial documents that should be reviewed. If the police did a reconstruction of their own, this file including any raw data should be provided to the Injury Biomechanics expert.
All damage estimates, as well as all photographs taken by the appraiser, should be considered. A vehicle history report and Expert Autostats should also be generated, and searches of publicly available crash test databases should be conducted for crashes involving similar vehicle make/models and crash orientation. Where necessary, full forensic site examinations and forensic vehicle examinations should also be completed. During the vehicle exam, the efficacy of the restraints (seat-belts) should be assessed, and all damage to the exterior and interior of the vehicle should be documented via photographs and/or video. The electronic systems should be interrogated and if the air-bags deployed the vehicle’s Event Data Recorder should be imaged.
The Injury Biomechanics expert will need to use information such as the above to reconstruct the collision dynamics to obtain an estimate of the collision severity (delta-V) and Principal Direction of Force (PDOF). Once this reconstruction is complete the Injury Biomechanics expert will review this in parallel with all documentation regarding the injuries claimed by the plaintiff, as well as their medical history prior to the subject incident. An important question always pertains to whether the claimant had pre-existing injuries, or if the subject incident is being implicated as having caused the injuries in a claimant with an unremarkable medical history. The Injury Biomechanics expert will also want to review whether the claimant has a history of accidents, as well as consider their occupational and recreational history.
The above is not meant to be exhaustive, simply some of the information that should be reviewed and considered in these matters.
If you have any questions about your MVA matter, contact us today.
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