Accident Reconstruction

Make crime scene and accident reconstruction diagrams easily with built-in templates

173' 4" 27' 1 3/4" 9' 2 1/16" 20' 7 3/16"

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What is an Accident Reconstruction Drawing?

Accident reconstruction drawings are visual recreations or sketches of an accident. They normally depict the accident and the surrounding area, as well as the vehicles and people involved. They're created using eyewitness reports, photos, security footage, and physical evidence.

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Accident reconstruction diagram example
detailed accident reconstruction

Why Sketching a Car Accident is Important

Properly documenting a traffic accident with a good diagram is often the deciding factor in winning a claim in court or at an arbitration hearing. Most trial lawyers agree that a well-prepared accident reconstruction graphic will dramatically improve the odds of prevailing. Some attribute a 90% success rate to a properly documented diagram, as it allows the judge, jury, or arbitrator to clearly see and understand the facts visually.

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How to Prepare an Accident Reconstruction

Start by setting the scene. It's a good idea to begin with a satellite image of the accident scene from Google Earth. This will allow you to develop your accident reconstruction with an accurate setting.

It will also serve useful as an exhibit or attachment to your accident scene diagram, as it shows that your diagram is fact-based.

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Satellite image of the accident

How to Draw an Accident Reconstruction Sketch

Start with an accident reconstruction template. We'll use SmartDraw to do this. This is much easier and more accurate than trying to draw the scene by hand. Plus, when you're finished, you'll have a presentation-quality graphic.

Selecting an accident reconstruction template Adding an intersection Adding accident reconstruction symbols

Start with an Accident Reconstruction Template

Begin by selecting an accident reconstruction template from the Police & Fire category under New Document.

Starting with the right template means you'll have the symbols and tools docked to the left of your workspace to do everything you need.

A SmartDraw accident reconstruction template will include symbols for roadways, intersections, vehicles, signs, markings, and more.

Create the Scene

To start your drawing, simply select the symbols you need from the SmartPanel, and drag and drop them onto your diagram.

Start by laying out your scene including the type of road, intersection, traffic lights, and lane markings. You can add what you need from the attached libraries.

You'll want to include only the information that is important to the case. Don't add extraneous items, as they will distract from the visual facts being presented.

Add Vehicles

Next, add the vehicles involved. SmartDraw has symbols for a variety cars and also buses, trucks, motorcycles, as well as pedestrians. Show their course of travel and denote the point of the collision. Be sure to label each vehicle.

The final step is to add a legend and a brief description of the accident.

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Why a Good Accident Reconstruction Drawing Wins Claims

Look at the diagram. Can you see how it's possible the driver of Vehicle No. 2 might have been distracted by the road construction and failed to see the red light? Is it clear that the witness in Vehicle No. 3 had a clear view of the collision? Also, since the witness was stopped for a red light, does this visual help clarify which driver more likely had the green light?

These things are much easier to see and comprehend with a good, clear accident reconstruction graphic. It's easy to see how this type of visual documentation helps to provide a much more compelling account of the accident than a written or verbal description.

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car accident reconstruction

Accident Reconstruction Examples

The best way to understand accident reconstruction is to look at some examples.

Click on any of these accident reconstruction diagrams included in SmartDraw and edit them:

More Accident Reconstruction Information

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