Accident Reconstruction

Accident reconstruction is a scientific process that is conducted to determine what occured in a motor vehicle accident, why it happened, and who was at fault. In addition, these analyses can also be used to determine what (if anything) could have been done to reduce the severity of the accident, or to reduce the injuries to those involved. 

Dr. Fijan applies a rigorous, analytical approach to investigate complex accidents involving single and multi-vehicles of all types. Dr. Fijan investigates the roles of operator, environment, and vehicular factors involved in such accidents to generate sequential "history" of the accident that is consistent with the physical evidence.

Things that can be determined

  • Who was at fault for a motor vehicle accident?
  • Is a particular accident scenario consistent with the physical evidence?
  • How fast was a vehicle traveling prior to impact?
  • What braking or steering maneuvers did the drivers use?
  • In which lanes were the vehicles at impact? Were they changing lanes?
  • Should an impact have been avoided?
  • How severe was the accident (for a particular occupant)? 

These and other questions can be addressed using rigorous accident reconstruction analyses.  In low-speed motor vehicle accidents, vehicles often sustain minimal damage, however bumper test results or other methods may be used to obtain reasonable bounds on vehicle speeds.  In accidents involving significant vehicle crush or associated with visible skid marks, debris or other physical evidence, accurate vehicle trajectories and/or speeds may be estimated. 

Relevant vehicle speeds, trajectories, changes in speed, and impact severity can be estimated based on: 

  • vehicle repair estimates
  • vehicle photographs
  • vehicle inspection
  • vehicle-specific crash test results
  • vehicle-specific stiffness, inertia and performance data
  • accident scene photographs
  • skid mark geometry and other characteristics
  • debris in roadway
  • site inspection
  • witness testimony