Rapperport Associates, Inc., provides exceptional capability in Failure Analysis, Fire and Explosion Investigation, Accident Reconstruction, Structural Analysis, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials Science.
We have provided superior technical support for litigation since 1974, and possess an extraordinarily talented technical team with impeccable academic and industrial credentials and proven analysis capability. Our team of distinguished scientists and engineers is drawn principally from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and Stanford University.
Coordinate with the Best Accident Reconstruction and Human Factors Experts for Technical Accuracy
PAUL KAYFETZ, INC. frequently helps plan complete technical testing, visibility study, computer simulation and demonstrative evidence strategy - coordinating a group of technical witnesses who are independently retained by counsel. This is requested by many clients because of Mr. Kayfetz' track record, his previous career as an attorney, his extensive contact with top experts from his 40 years experience as an Engineering Photography consultant working with the best forensic witnesses on many of the major cases during those decades, and upon his membership and participation in major engineering societies.
Each year. Mr. Kayfetz helps attorneys win and save hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. This results primarily from his experience and expertise. It also stems from his ability to discover measurements from existing photos. PAUL KAYFETZ, INC are ahead of everyone in their field because they invest in HD cameras costing $250,000 each, six figure computer systems, custom engineering computer programs, and staff engineers - not artists.
A major part of their work is evaluating and keeping out of evidence opponents' forensic photography, computer simulations, or computer animations which do not comply with the rules of evidence. This has swung multi-million dollar results several times in recent years.
The explanation then given is a basic, but little understood, fundamental of the presentation of a visibility study in court. A visibility study depicts what is available to be seen by a person with normal, unimpaired vision under defined conditions similar enough to those at issue to provide relevant information about levels of visibility, lines-of-sight, timing of visibility, and to demonstrate expert witness(es)' opinions.
Jurors jumped as the wild boar in the motorcycle headlights suddenly filled the large screen in front of them.A week later they awarded the motorcyclist several million dollars against Caltrans for not mitigating a chronic wild pig problem on Highway One in Monterey County. The jury found that the motorcyclist had a 0.10 blood alcohol level and was negligent, but that our HD-video visibility study showed that even an unimpaired driver could not have seen the pig in time to avoid it.
The objective of this article is to report on the integration of improved video and related computer technology into existing, long-accepted visibility study preparation and presentation methodologies. The result has been an incremental extension of the types of visual environments which can be reproduced with substantial similarity for admission as visibility evidentiary exhibits in court
Mukul K. Verma, PhD (University of Michigan) brings more than 35 years of engineering & R&D experience to his consulting practice in the areas of vehicle engineering, automotive safety and mechatronics systems design. His experience includes multiple asignments in automobiles’ design and testing at one of the largest vehicle manufacturers the USA. In addition, he has significant R&D experience which led to several advances in automotive engineerin. These include areas such as automatic crash notification systems for post-crash protection, vehicles designs & pedestrians’ safety, airbag & passive protection systems design, motorcycle dynamics, heavy truck rollovers, etc. Also in his role as technical expert, he led international industry-wide teams of experts to successfully develop engineering solutions to urgent problems in traffic safety.
As a consultant, he has worked with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency on future lighter vehicle designs and their occupants' protection in traffic accidents. He has also provided consultation to overseas government organization and research agency on electric vehicles' functional issues and traffic safety, as well as on test facilities.
Dr Verma has also taught several graduate-level and professional courses at universities in Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering, Intelligent vehicle systems, Structural dynamics analysis and Vehicle Design Integration. He has published more than thirty papers in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences and has been active in professional organizations as invited speaker, session chairman and organizer. He is well-known for his expertise in Vehicle Engineering and Traffic Safety and his interviews and opinions have appeared in US and in international media on several occasions
Litigation Support – Dr. Verma’s recent litigation-related work has been in two fields-
(a) Product Liability cases related to the performance of automobiles and components in accidents in the area; and (b) Intellectual Property claims related to mechatronics systems in automobiles and the validity / infringement of patents.
Every year, there are approximately 6000 fatalities (6227 in the year 2018) and many more serious injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists from vehicles in the USA. More recent data1 show that these numbers have increased by 45% since 2009. These trends have varied over the years but injuries and fatalities to pedestrians and cyclists from automobiles remain a serious issue.
This article contains a few of the findings from our recent study of automobile safety in frontal crashes. Parts of the data analyses are presented but details such as the relationship of a particular design feature to the measured injury indicators are highly dependent on specific cases and are available only for individual discussions.
Many automobile accidents are complex cases with multiple events during a single accident. The aim of forensic investigations of such (and all other) accidents is to reconstruct the sequence and the severity of events during the accident and then to establish cause and- effect relationships between the injuries (or damages) and the probable factors - vehicle design (e.g. brakes, structure, airbags); vehicle operator (e.g. distracted driver, alcohol impairment, reduced vision); and operating conditions (e.g. fog, failed traffic sign, excessive speed, icy road).
The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (part of the U.S Department of Transportation) underwent major changes recently. For automobiles designated as model years 2011 and later, the changes involve both what is measured and what is published.
Airbags in modern automobiles have been around for many years and their record in improving occupant safety in crashes is generally well accepted. However, many questions still arise regarding their deployment and performance in crashes.
Dr. Kevin A. Rider, PhD, PE, CPE of Forensic Human Factors, LLC., providing investigations and expert testimony regarding predictable human behavior, particularly as it relates to motor vehicle and pedestrian collisions, premises liability, and slips, trips and falls, the design and use of products, and adequacy of warnings/instructions. His work focuses on identifying the Human Factors Elements that lead to unfortunate incidents, and what should have been done to prevent them.
Dr. Rider is a Licensed Professional Engineer and Certified Professional Ergonomist, and has studied human movements and behavior, and served as a human factors consultant since 1999, including five years teaching industrial engineering and occupational safety courses at West Virginia University. He has presented at professional conferences, both nationally and abroad, and his research is published and cited in a number of peer-reviewed journals. He continues to serve as a reviewer for conference and journal manuscripts.
Dr. Rider has testified over 100 times, and excels at educating attorneys and jurors. His services are available to attorneys for both Plaintiff and Defense.
Areas of Expertise:
Driver Behavior - Cell Phone Use and other In-Vehicle Distractions
Product Liability - Design, Guards, Warnings, Adequacy of Instructions
Premises Liability - Sidewalks, Shopping Centers, Community Parks, Retail Displays
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Visibility and Lighting - Illumination and Conspicuity of Objects
Workplace Safety - Defective Products, Gross Negligence or Misconduct, Third Party Actions on Worksites
Andrew W. Thomas is the founder of Collision Analytics, an ACTAR certified Motor Vehicle Crash Reconstructionist, and a licensed Illinois Private Investigator. He regularly instructs crash investigation and reconstruction courses throughout the United States and Canada for the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety.
Background Experience - Mr. Thomas has over 14 years of experience as an Illinois law enforcement officer and has attended nearly 1,000 hours of crash investigation and reconstruction training, ranging from pedestrian collisions to accessing and interpreting heavy vehicle event data recorders. Throughout his tenure, he has investigated over 200 major collisions involving all types of vehicles.
Litigation Support - Mr. Thomas has worked in the public and private sector investigating numerous personal injury and fatal crashes and has been recognized by courts as an expert witness in crash reconstruction.
He currently leads a team of 7 investigators and 6 reconstructionists responsible for investigating all major crash investigations within unincorporated McHenry County, outside Chicago-land.
Since 2017, Collision Analytics has served clients as a full-service crash investigation and reconstruction company providing expert consultation, analysis, and testimony. Mr. Thomas' services are available to attorneys representing both plaintiff and defendant.
Serving Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Michigan, Collision Analytics has the equipment to retrieve electronic data and the experience to assess its impact on a case. Their services also include survey and drone scene mapping, forensic vehicle examinations, courtroom exhibit preparation, and crash reconstructions including electronic, GPS, and cellular phone data.
Jose J. Granda, PhD, PE, is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the California State University in Sacramento, CA. Prof. Granda is a Professional Registered Mechanical Engineer with almost 40 years of experience in the industry. A NASA Fellow, he served as a NASA public spokesman for 17 space shuttle missions.
Degrees and License:
PhD in Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis
ME in Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
MS in Mechanical Engineering, National Polytechnic University, Ecuador
PE (Professional Engineer) License in Mechanical Engineering
Specialized Training: Vehicle Dynamics and Design, Vehicle Safety and Crash Reconstruction, Accident Bio-mechanics, Finite Element Modeling in Computer Aided Design, Advanced Mechanical Design and Failure Analysis, CSUS; Motorcycle Accident reconstruction; EDR Certification, Tech 1, Tech II, EDR Analysis Certification, Collision Safety Institute; Applying Automotive EDR Data to Traffic Crash Reconstruction, SAE Society of Automotive Engineers International; Advanced Accident Reconstruction Utilizing Human Factors course; Photogrammetry for Collision Reconstruction, Lightpoint Data; Bicycle and Pedestrian Accident Reconstructions; Heavy Commercial Vehicles Accident Reconstruction
Litigation Support - Prof. Granda is an expert in Forensic Engineering and Accident Reconstruction using computer simulations. His cases include accidents involving vehicles and people. He offers services to attorneys for plaintiff and defendant which include thorough written reports, depositions, and trial experience.
Dr. Jeffrey Buckholz is a practicing design engineer with over 40 years of experience in Traffic Engineering, Traffic Signal Timing, Signal Design and Signal Construction. He is also proficient in Pavement Marking Design, Roadway Signing, and Work Zone Traffic Control. Dr. Buckholz has authored 3 national training manuals in signal design, construction and inspection. He is a PE in 6 states: FL, GA, CA, MA, MI, OH and is a Professional Traffic Operations Engineer. Dr. Buckholz has been chief engineer of his engineering company for 30 years and was an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Florida from 2005 through 2007. He has served as an expert witness in over 220 cases. Past Project Experience:
Ralph Aronberg, P.E., has reconstructed over 1,500 accidents and has testified in over 150 jury trials, since founding the firm in 1983. He provides Expert Witness services in the areas of:
Traffic accident reconstruction (cars, trucks, motorcycles and pedestrians).
Vehicle occupant kinematics (seatbelts)
Traffic engineering design (geometrics, signing, markings, signals and lighting)
Sight distance analysis
Hazardous roadway conditions
Work Zone Traffic Control evaluation
Evaluation of roadway curvature
Traffic signal operations
Computerized accident reconstruction and simulation
Vehicle "black box" data retrieval (certified>
Mr. Aronberg is published in the fields of pedestrian / bicycle / motorcycle accident reconstructions, and 3 Dimensional Animations and Scientific Visualizations through the Society of Automotive Engineers. Mr. Aronberg is a Fellow member of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, and certified as a Diplomat in forensic Engineering.