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Forensic Engineering Experts: Occupant Injuries

By: Dr. Irving Ojalvo

Tel: (800) 358-9909
Fax: (888) 358-9901
Email: Technology Associates

In many vehicle accident investigations, it is necessary to know not only the speeds and motions of the vehicles involved, but the causes of injuries suffered by their occupants as well. Such investigations seek to answer questions regarding occupant ejection, effects of seatbelt use, airbag deployment and body-interior impacts. Such answers can sometimes be found through simple analyses, or they may require advanced three-dimensional simulations and computer modeling techniques. Once an analysis of this type is complete, it is often necessary to generate drawings or animations to communicate the findings to a judge, jury or mediator.

Expertise

Questions Answered

We have significant experience in many aspects of occupant dynamics including:
  • Determining the effect of seatbelt slack and stretch and airbag deployment upon occupant injuries
  • Determination and calculation of Head Injury (HIC) and other injury criteria
  • Computer simulation and animation

Case Examples

SUV Rollover Ejection:
A woman driver was seriously injured when her SUV was struck sideways by a car causing her vehicle to roll over. The SUV driver was ejected because she was unbelted. The defense claimed that, based upon statistical studies, she would not have been injured if she had been belted. We demonstrated that her major injuries were caused by her impact with the door interior, which would have been inflicted even if she had been belted and was not ejected. The case settled in the plaintiff's favor.


Dr. Irving Ojalvo was, at the time of this article's publication, the Chairman of Technology Associates (www.technology-assoc.com), a forensic engineering firm with offices in New York City and Connecticut. The firm's technical personnel, all of whom have advanced degrees, perform accident reconstruction involving issues of biomechanics, mechanical, traffic, and human factors engineering.

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DO NOT REPRODUCE WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION BY AUTHOR.

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