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Please Help! In desperate need for a reconstruction analysis opinion.

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Please Help! In desperate need for a reconstruction analysis opinion.

Post by bmckinley » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:59 pm

I would like to thank all that may read this and offer any advice or opinions as to what may have happened to contribute to a wreck that happened this past Saturday involving my wife and two daughters. This was the most helpless and scariest time that I can ever remember, but I'm thankful that all relatively ok. My wife suffered broken ribs, internal and external bruising and a broken hand. Thankfully, my two daughters just had some bruising. At the hospital, I asked my my wife how this wreck happened and she said the car appeared out of no where. My 6 year old daughter told me that the red car was in the left lane and pulled out in front and stopped to try to make a turn. She said it happened so fast that she could not scream. The driver of the red car has stated that my wife was in the left lane, looking out the driver side window and merged into the right lane. When she saw this, she said she floored her car to try to avoid being hit but was hit. According to the police report, both cars were in the right hand lane with the red car making a right turn when my wife hit her. I have visited the scene and have seen skid marks suggesting that a car definitely came from the left lane, but what concerns me is that there is no major damage to the driver side of the red car. On the flip side, my wife had red paint transfer on her driver side fender and the most severe damage is on the passenger side of the red car suggesting the car did indeed pull in front of them. My wife did not brake at no point. I have attached several pictures to get your opinions and would be very grateful, more than I can express with words for your professional opinions. We are being railroaded and have lost a pretty decent car at no fault of ours, not to mention the injuries and mental stress that we all have gone through. Again, I have no other means to prove or suggest fault as my insurance company doesn't seem to be to interested in anything we have to say. They are more concerned with being nice to the other party to possibly prevent being sued and I'm sure they will be writing a check soon. The day that they totaled our car, before our adjuster ever called the witness, another adjuster was already inspecting their car in preparation to pay them. That told me everything I needed to know. I am blessed and thankful for my family, but those of you who are parents know your kids and know when they are telling the truth or not and my daughter has never changed her story which makes me want to keep fighting until I can find proof or come up with enough information to provide closure for myself. I sincerely thank you for spending the time to read this and looking at the photos I've attached and will be forever grateful for your professional opinion based on what I've written and what you see in the pictures. Thank you so much! Brent McKinley
Attachments
Accident Photos.zip
All of the Accident Photos and Pictures of the Skid Mark
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Please Help! In desperate need for a reconstruction analysis opinion.

Post by Bob Anderson » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:33 am

Brent,

It seems undisputed that the Toyota was attempting to turn right. Indeed, the vehicle photographs show that this was an angled impact in which the Kia's central right front struck the Toyota's right rear corner.

The skid marks appear to be post-impact tire marks. Matching those up to the tire that made them is key to placing the vehicles on the roadway.

If I were a betting man, which I am not, I'd wager that the tire mark is from the Toyota's left rear tire. If it is, then that would place the driver's side of the Toyota near the lane line, which combined with the angle of contact, is consistent with it turning right from the left lane.

With the evidence of a significant impact in the form of vehicle damage and post-impact vehicle motion, I'm wondering what the speed limit is on that roadway and how fast the Kia was going?

I don't know how much resources you are willing to commit to get closure for yourself. An easy thing you can do is to find out if the investigating officers took scene photographs. Obtaining a copy of these photographs would presumably assist in identifying the source of the tire mark.

Depending on the model and the year of the Toyota, it very well may have crash related data stored in its airbag control module. If pre-crash speed/brake/throttle are recorded, it would either support or contradict the Toyota driver's accounts. If the Toyota's driver and/or insurance company does not want to grant you or your representative access to the Toyota, you are not likely to get it. You would have to go through your insurance company.

Similarly, depending on the model year, your Kia Soul likely recorded a crash event, which would report crash severity and pre-crash steering, which may be helpful in piecing this crash together. The Kia will also report pre-crash speed and other parameters, such as if the driver's seat belt was in use, so you do have to think about how important it is to you to know ALL the facts. If you are going to get this done yourself, you have to do it before you sign the vehicle over, or you could harvest the airbag control module before signing the vehicle over. Otherwise, you will have to have your insurance company take care of that too.

The reality is that from your insurance company's perspective, their insured's car struck another car hard causing significant property damage and injuries presumably in both vehicles. The police report description places the blame on their insured. Based upon the information available to them, is it really wrong for them to pay those claims? Wouldn't you rather have the insurance company quickly take care of the people and the damage and sort out fault later.

Unfortunately, these type of situations feel out of your control, because they largely are.

Circling around back to what I think is the original issue, it does appear that the physical evidence validates your daughters account.

Good luck,
Bob Anderson
Tempe, Arizona

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Re: Please Help! In desperate need for a reconstruction analysis opinion.

Post by bmckinley » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:39 pm

Wow! Thank you so much for your response! The Toyota was a 2009 Corolla and the Kia a 2010. My wife had GPS enabled on her phone and I hoped to be able to put that to use, but that is a rural area and the signal shows it all over unless the maps I'm using are wrong. I'm going to try on my Mac when I get home. We really are strapped financially, but due to what this lady is saying and the pain my wife is going through now, not too mention what we all had to go through initially, I'm willing to fight for my family any way I can. The speed limit was 45 and my wife feels that she was going at least 45 and she knows at no point did she ever hit the breaks. She has cracked ribs, a broken hand, internal and external bruising from this and now has to deal with some of the accusations that this lady is making. Our insurance adjuster seems focused on dealing with her as nice as she can, treating her better than us and will more than likely give her a fair amount for her car and her pain and suffering and have her sign her rights away. They are doing nothing to help us. Would a 2009 have the data needed? What would I need to get this information? I will petition the insurance agency to allow me one shot at proving our story.

Thank you so much for taking the time to look at the photos and respond to my post. I can't tell you what this means to me. Thank you so very much!!!

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Re: Please Help! In desperate need for a reconstruction analysis opinion.

Post by bmckinley » Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:46 pm

Just one more note, the air bags of the 2009 Toyota Corolla did not deploy. Can you still get the data. We have not signed our Kia over, so anything we can do that may help us, I can surely do. If I can get data from the Toyota that is beneficial from this make and year, without a airbag deploy, I will make sure I get access. It's not only crucial for us monetary wise, but my wife should not be labeled an at fault driver for something she didn't do. What really gets me is that this lady could have killed my family and has no problems making accusations and letting her take the blame. I don't understand that.

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Please Help! In desperate need for a reconstruction analysis opinion.

Post by Bob Anderson » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:10 am

Brent,

Only 2013 and newer Hyundai/Kia airbag control modules (ACM's) are officially supported for retrieving crash related data. Your 2010 Kia Soul most likely recorded an crash related event, but using the newer tool to retrieve a copy of that data can be called into question because it is not know whether or the not the correct "secret decoder ring" is being used to interpret the data to create the Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) report.

Toyota/Lexus/Scion ACM's are supported going back to 2001 model year and record both non-deployment and deployment events. Unfortunately, some of the Toyota/Lexus/Scion ACM's, mostly on Corollas are not capable of recording events. The 2009 Toyota Corolla is one of the vehicles that is equipped with an ACM that may or may not be able to record crash related data. The only way to find out is to plug in and see if a data copy can be obtained.

Assuming that both vehicles are going to be declared total losses, you may be able to grab both ACM's yourself and ship them off to somebody who can retrieve a copy of the stored data from them. Since your ACM deployed the airbags, it is essentially worthless since proper repair requires replacement of the ACM along with the deployed components in the vehicle. However, don't be surprised if the other insurance company asks you to pay for the Toyota's ACM since it is still a usable component. New ones go for $140 to $100 depending on whether or not the vehicle has side curtain airbags.

It is easier to say than to do, but my advice to personal is to try to not get to caught up in what could have happened. This was an accident that neither driver wanted to happen.

Again easier said than done, but try to keep an open mind. In these types of accidents, the reality is that many times both drivers actions or behavior play a role causing the accident. Indeed, in many of the accidents that myself and others in my field are called upon to analyze, the question is not which driver is at fault for causing the accident, but rather how much fault does our driver have compared to the other driver in causing this accident.
Bob Anderson
Tempe, Arizona

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Re: Please Help! In desperate need for a reconstruction analysis opinion.

Post by bmckinley » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:48 am

Thank you for all the information you've provided. We have obtained a firm that feels very comfortable with moving forward. Unfortunately, this is our only choice. I simply can't let my wife be labeled an at fault driver for something she didn't do. I really appreciate you taking the time to provide me with information. I can see how important your profession is as I've never been in a situation like this. Both vehicles are a total loss and they are going to do an accident reconstruction from what my wife has told me. I'm not one to ever wish bad on anyone but I can't let my family be taken advantage of. If we don't fight, we will be paying for this a long time. I could write more, but being a public forum, I know I shouldn't share all of the details. I do really appreciate your time and leading me in the right direction. Thank you very much! Brent


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