Getting it Right in Accident Investigation and Reconstruction

Getting it Right in Accident Investigation and Reconstruction

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Getting it Right
in Accident Investigation and Reconstruction

by George L. Ruotolo

Central to any crash investigation is the accuracy in determining who was at fault and why the crash occurred. Too often, the first officers on the scene are not crash reconstructionists and do not have the proper training to identify those pieces of evidence necessary to reach a solid conclusion.

In his article, Getting it Right in Accident Investigation and Reconstruction, George Ruotolo outlines steps that provide possible remedies for avoiding incorrect conclusions of any traffic crash. While advocating specialized training for the investigators of traffic crashes, the author also makes a compelling case against decisions to issue a citation at the crash scene that may later prove to be detrimental in a court of law.

Early in the article, Mr. Ruotolo makes it clear that quick, inaccurate conclusions only cause embarrassment to the departments and undermine their expertise in the eyes of the public, to say nothing of the morale of the officers whose reports of the crash undergo rigorous scrutiny.

Topics in this article address the following:

  • Possible Remedies for Wrong Determinations
  • Reminders to Scene Investigators (First Responding Police Officer)
  • Pitfalls for the Expert to Avoid
  • The Reconstruction Process
  • Summary

This article is a must for on-scene investigators, reconstructionists, police administrators, private investigators and trial attorneys.

George Ruotolo is retired from 21 years of service in New York State law enforcement and police training. His experience in courtroom testimony as an expert witness spans 12 years and he is now a private consultant to law enforcement, the legal profession and insurance companies.

Specifications: 14 pages; 8½”x11”; saddle stitched; Publisher: IPTM (February 1994)