car

Automotive Engineering Consultants, Inc.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
1-800-924-0494 US
+1-734-994-0494 Int'l

tractor trailer truck
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Automotive Accident Reconstruction & Investigation

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Failure Analysis & Product Liability

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Vehicle & Systems Testing

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Litigation Assistance

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Expert Witness Services

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Exemplar Engineering Expert Reports

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Mr. Jeffers CV

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Our Company

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Our Clients

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Links to Resources

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Automotive Engineering Consultants, Inc.
P.O. Box 7391, Ann Arbor, MI 48107

1-800-924-0494 US
+1-734-994-0494 Int'l

inquiry@automotive-engineers.com

Expert witness, accident reconstruction & investigation, mechanical engineering and forensic engineering services.

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Automotive Accident Reconstruction and Investigation

Our automotive accident reconstruction and investigation experience includes trucks from small pickups and light trucks to multiple unit tractor-trailers; sedans, vans, sport utility vehicles, station wagons, sports cars, recreational vehicles, buses, motorhomes; golf carts, snowmobiles; pedestrians; bicycles, motorcycles; all terrain vehicles, farm machinery, skidders, self-propelled cranes; trains; pleasure boats, deep water boats; light aircraft; and pre- and post-accident fire.

Vehicular Accident Reconstruction

We employ a variety of accepted methods for the reconstruction of a truck or automobile accident. These methods range from sophisticated computer programs, to empirically based vehicle systems models and mathematical calculations, as required.

Wrecked tanker truck

We take damage measurements of accident vehicles and measure skid mark distances when available. If not, we employ photogrammetric methods utilizing photographs taken by police or other investigators.

We employ computer programs to simulate complex vehicle movements during collision events and afterwards. Occasionally we set up and test a flawed vehicle to prove or disprove a theory of a vehicle's behavior.

Once our investigation and reconstruction is complete you will know the story of the accident, from the points at which the accident first began to develop, to the final resting points of the vehicles at conclusion of the accident. We report our findings orally, in writing, in deposition, or in expert witness testimony at trial, as required.

Car driven under a large truck

Vehicular Accident Investigation

The foundation of every good accident reconstruction is a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Ideally, we prefer to visit the scene of a traffic accident at the time of the accident or the day after. Immediately after the accident, skid marks are most easily observed, gouge marks and fluid spills in the roadway are still fresh, and other evidence of conditions and events most apparent. We like to examine the accident vehicles soon thereafter.

However, it is the nature of accidents that many things are not ideal. We are often asked to investigate accidents that occurred several years earlier. Information that could have been gained from a timely scene investigation must then be gleaned from surviving evidence such as police reports, photographs and accident vehicles long in storage. We will generally visit the scene of the accident, even years later. We learn all we can about the accident from the available evidence.

Often an accident is the result of driver error, perhaps compounded by environmental factors or road conditions. In other cases the root cause is mechanical failure (brakes, engine, transmission, steering, etc.) and not human error or negligence. We can conduct engineering analyses of the failure or test the failed vehicular system. Brakes and steering are examples of systems that are commonly called into question, requiring examination, analysis, and/or testing.

In the general sense, what actually happened in the accident is usually apparent at this stage. We confer with our clients to determine whether they want to go further, to reconstruct the accident and, if appropriate, conduct failure analysis.

Typical Questions We Address in an Accident Reconstruction Case

Did the automobile run the stop sign? When did the truck start to brake? How fast were the vehicles going? How does the crashworthiness of this car compare with other cars? Why was the passenger ejected from the vehicle?

Was the tractor trailer driver at fault? Did the car brakes fail? Did the transmission fail? Why didn't the airbag deploy? Why did the vehicle roll over?

What was the speed of the automobile when it struck the pickup truck? In which lanes were the vehicles driving when the collision occurred? Why did the car catch fire?

What part did road conditions and visibility play in this wreck? Did the truck air brakes and steering function properly? Did the tire blow out and cause the accident, or did the collision cause the tire to blow out?


U.S. and International practice - When you need to know what really happened


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