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Forensic Engineering Experts: Animation

By: Kristopher J. Seluga, PE

Tel: (203) 329-9909
Email: Technology Associates

View Profile on Experts.com.

Technology AssociatesAnimations are useful visual tools that can help jurors understand how an incident could, or could not, have occurred. Simply describing an event in court, or showing still pictures, may be insufficient to explain a complex sequence of events. Animations tend to capture the juror's attention and facilitate their remembering an image that you want them to understand and recall easily. Animations also allow you to observe an accident from a variety of vantage points, putting the viewer in the driver's seat to see what the participants saw. Often, an effective animation is valuable during mediation and can prompt a settlement based on its expected impact with a jury.

Expertise

We have experience in many aspects of animation including:

  • Vehicle & pedestrian animations
  • Simulation routines that are dynamically accurate and compatible with animation software
  • An animation software library that includes ATB 3I & 3-D Studio

Questions Answered

Through scientific analysis, we can help you answer pertinent questions such as:

  • Should the driver have been able to see the boy before striking him?
  • Why do the witnesses give two different accounts of the accident?
  • Are the claimant's injuries consistent with the dynamics of the event?

Case Examples

Fall Over Low Wall:

A hotel guest fell over a low outside wall into a 14' pit and broke his neck when he backed up a few steps to observe a low flying plane overhead. The hotel owners offered the victim $1.5 million. Not satisfied with this offer, the man's attorney turned to Drs. Ojalvo and Yanowitz to develop a computer model and animation of the event. After viewing their dynamically accurate video recreation of this event, the hotel agreed to close the case for $4.5 million.

Rear Seated Sedan Passenger:

A woman seated in the rear of a sedan claimed that she was severely injured when the car she was riding in went off the exit ramp and rolled onto the unpaved side of the road. We performed an accident reconstruction and created animations of the vehicle's roll for scenarios of the passenger with and without her seatbelt. These animations convinced the Plaintiff to settle the case since they revealed that she could not have been wearing her seatbelt.


Kristopher J. Seluga, PE, is a Mechanical Engineering, Accident Reconstruction, Biomechanics, and Safety Expert with over 20 years of experience. He received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the Mechanical Engineering department at MIT where he worked on the development of novel three-dimensional printing technologies. Mr. Seluga is also a licensed Professional Engineer in New York and Connecticut, and has served as a member of the ANSI engineering committee for the Z130.1 and Z135 standards for golf cars and PTV's. His research interests and peer reviewed publications span the topics of Motor Vehicle Dynamics, Product Safety, and Biomechanics.

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