Why do a Site Inspection – when the accident already happened?
When accidents or losses occur, there is usually a formal process for documenting the accident. Police officers can take witness statements and photographs, supervisors can contact OSHA and file a report, claims managers can document structural failures – so why is it important for forensic engineers to re-visit the scene? It is very important and can sometimes make or break your case.
Forensic Engineers and Accident Reconstructionists are trained through education and experience to look for the not-so-obvious contributory variables. In a vehicular accident – was there a line of sight issue or could the driver been impacted by natural causes such as sunlight or shadows? Were there external surroundings such as loud noises or positioning of equipment that impacted the ability to operate equipment safely? These kinds of questions are the reason why you need to have the expert return to the scene even if several years have passed.
The second reason for site inspections is if the engineer needs to testify or be identified as the expert in the claim or litigation. The expert needs to become familiar with the scene so that he or she can testify to the actual event. If the accident or loss involves a piece of equipment – get the expert a sample or an exemplar of the actual product that failed. It might be second best to the actual product but it could very well save your case!!
Technology is also helping with site preservation. Today CED engineers are equipped with contemporary tools such as drones to get full angle video footage of the scene from several different angles. CED engineers also use 3D scanning and imaging for a very reasonable price to preserve the scene electronically. If they need to go back and view the accident later from a different angle or measurement they can and it is extremely accurate.
Why Site Inspections Strengthen Case and Claims
Timely Inspections Can Make all the Difference
CED’s Approach to Aerial Lift Accidents