AUTOMOBILE & TRACTOR-TRAILER COLLISIONS
The accurate reconstruction of vehicle collisions and collisions involving heavy trucks and tractor-trailer rigs is essential for the understanding of many forensic cases we analyze. The engineers with Quality Forensic Engineering, LLC have extensive experience and training in vehicular crash testing and specialized training in heavy truck collision reconstruction. This includes the download and analysis of the tractor’s Engine Control Module (ECM) for important information such as speed and braking, as well as the testing and evaluation of airbrake systems. This experience, along with computer simulation tools, allow us to accurately reconstruct all types of vehicular collisions and convey the results to clients and juries.
AUTOMOTIVE COMPONENT FAILURE ANALYSIS
Our engineers can offer forensic evaluations for mechanical equipment and systems on many types of vehicles (passenger, light truck, motorcycle, buses, and tractor-trailers). They determine the cause of mechanical failures to the following and more: tires, air and hydraulic brakes, steering, fuel system contamination, engines, and transmissions.
BICYCLE, MOTORCYCLE & PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
We have been involved in the forensic evaluation of numerous bicycle, motorcycle and pedestrian accidents, including dynamics and safety issues. Bicycle and motorcycle accidents can be the result of weather conditions, poor bike maintenance, poorly maintained roads and construction, negligence, or ignoring laws and road signs. Collisions between vehicles and pedestrians can result in serious injuries to pedestrians, even at low speeds, as the human body is unprotected in these situations. It is very important to understand the issues surrounding the incident including speed, visibility, impact orientation, and lighting conditions. Our engineers have considerable training and experience in investigating these types of collisions.
BIOMECHANICAL ANALYSIS & INJURY CONSISTENCY
Biomechanics is the study of the actions and reactions of the human body under various sets of circumstances. This can include assessing the forces during a motor vehicle accident, analyzing the motions that occur during a trip event, determining the injury mechanisms present during an accident, and evaluating how the laws of physics relate to specific types of injuries. Biomechanical analysis also identifies and quantifies forces on the body as well as how an individual’s living tissue reacts to these forces, with the goal of understanding how injuries occur. This includes the use of testing, simulations, and studies to understand both the magnitudes of forces on the body during an accident and the manner in which these forces are applied. Biomechanical engineers not only assess motions and forces from accidents but also explain these complex mechanics in simple terms and analogies to aid clients and juries in the understanding of injury consistency, causation, and comparison situations.
BLACK BOX & ECM DOWNLOADS AND ANALYSIS
An Airbag Control Module (ACM), commonly referred to as a “Black Box”, is a device on passenger vehicles that can store information when an accident occurs. ECMs are devices on larger commercial vehicle engines that help control and monitor engine functions. One of the benefits of these systems is they can store information related to accident reconstruction, when collisions occur. These modules have different capabilities depending on the make, model, and year they were installed so it’s important to know the various system capabilities. While some manufacturers have minimal information, others have a treasure trove of detail that is truly invaluable to your case. Passenger vehicle ACMs may contain information that is relevant to your case, even if the airbag did not deploy! This is a potentially important piece of evidence in your case and the engineers at Quality Forensic Engineering, LLC can help you retrieve and interpret that evidence.
BUILDING CODES, ANSI & ASTM
When looking for authoritative sources regarding definitions of best practices or even requirements by law, ANSI, ASTM, SAE, ASME, and UL are excellent resources. These standards, guidelines, and codes have been written by members of various industries in an effort to share lessons learned and establish minimum expectations regarding processes and safety. Our engineers use these tools and their years of experience to develop a detailed analysis in order to provide answers in the case.
DIGITAL VIDEO ANALYSIS
Many new technologies, such as digital video systems, provide additional useful data which can be analyzed by forensic engineers. These systems are typically aftermarket devices that are added to both private and commercial vehicles. Different systems store various information that can include multiple video views, speed, brake usage, accelerometers, GPS information, and more. If pictures are worth a thousand words, how valuable is video from the vehicle in your case? For more information and assistance with these types of systems, remember to call the engineers at Quality Forensic Engineering, LLC to help you analyze and retrieve this excellent source of evidence.
FIRE INVESTIGATIONS FOR VEHICLES & STRUCTURES
Our fire investigators are certified by the International Association of Arson Investigators as Fire Investigator Technicians (IAAI FIT (V)) for vehicle and marine evaluations and certified by the North American Fire Investigators as Fire and Explosion Investigators (NAFI-CFEI). They determine the origin and cause of structural, automotive, and heavy equipment fires. These engineers interview, evaluate, investigate, and collect evidence pertaining to the structures, products, component failures, materials, and people involved to complete a comprehensive investigation. Our fire investigators will also inspect a vehicle post fire to determine if it was forcibly entered for a theft recovery evaluation. After a fire has occurred, our engineers can also inspect the fire protection system within a building to evaluate the operation of the system.
GUARDRAILS, ROADSIDE SAFETY & CONSTRUCTION ZONES
Our engineers are extensively trained in analyzing roadside conditions and required safety measures as well as the effectiveness of these measures. Our CEO is also one of the leading experts in the United States in guardrail safety and he is often consulted regarding the design, implementation, and effectiveness of these types of devices. It is important that roadsides be designed and maintained in a safe manner, and that safety considerations also be made for the traveling public as they proceed through designated construction zones. If your case involves interaction with roadside appurtenances such as guardrails, bridge rails, or sign supports, it is important to know the role the design and placement of these features played in the event. Regulations and guidelines are also in place for the development and implementation of Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) plans for construction projects. In addition to experience developing and testing safety devices used throughout construction projects, we are certified in the State of Florida to develop and implement these plans. We have considerable experience in evaluating MOT plans and construction sites to determine compliance with standards and overall effectiveness. We also have significant experience in the design, crash testing, and implementation of products which make our roadsides safer for travelers. These devices include guardrails, guardrail terminals, bridge rails, crash cushions, breakaway sign supports, and other safety devices found along roadways.
If you look at any accident involving personal injury, there is a common element present in each of them, which is the human element. Being able to provide analysis covering the human factors aspect of an accident is critical. Human factors and environmental interaction can take the form of perception and reaction times and actions, pedestrian and walkway visibility and conspicuity, or even the effectiveness of a warning sign. Understanding how people interact or foreseeably interact with their environment, conditions, vehicles, and facilities, to name a few, is a critical piece in the overall analysis of an accident. Our engineers have the experience to make sure these important elements and factors are addressed in the overall analysis of a case.
Using years of industrial work experience as the basis, our engineers are able to provide detailed and thorough engineering analyses and accident investigations. Industrial accidents can include a broad range of issues including Lock Out/Tag Out, Machine Guarding, Personal Protective Equipment, Conveyors, Forklifts and other Material Handling Devices, and Construction Equipment. We have the knowledge and experience to piece together complex and varied aspects of the accident and present cohesive conclusions.
LIGHTNING STRIKE & POWER SURGE INVESTIGATIONS
Electrical equipment can be damaged from lightning strike events. Our engineers offer electrical evaluations, to determine if damage was consistent with a reported lightning strike and/or power surge, related to the following and more:
- HVAC Systems
- Residences (whole house electrical evaluations)
- Well casings
- Well pumps
MATERIAL FRACTURE ANALYSIS
Material fracture analysis is used to investigate the contributing factors that cause a material to fracture. This analytical technique gives important information in determining mechanism of breakage, such as direction of crack propagation, type of the stress, direction of impact, and location of the origin.
The analysis of the movement of bodies in a vehicle, during a collision, is known as occupant kinematics. As part of a vehicle collision reconstruction analysis, we can also analyze the movement of the occupants within the vehicle to determine what areas they would contact and what forces would be involved. This can be used to assist a biomechanical engineer in the analysis and evaluation of injury causation.
PATENT LITIGATION TECHNICAL ANALYSIS
The engineers with Quality Forensic Engineering, LLC utilize education and experience to provide technical expertise in patent litigation. This includes investigations and testimony involving patent infringement claims related to mechanical systems such as automated material handling systems and patent litigation matters involving roadside safety devices and protective barriers.
PLUMBING FAILURE ANALYSIS
Many items can be damaged due to failure or defect in a piping and plumbing system. Our engineers offer plumbing evaluations to determine if water damage is consistent with components such as but not limited to piping, water supply lines, plumbing fittings, and sewer line backup. Testing can be conducted for water related appliance failure analysis for the following equipment: ice maker, water heater, washing machine, dishwasher, toilet, and refrigerator.
PRODUCT & MACHINERY FAILURE ANALYSIS
The engineers at Quality Forensic Engineering, LLC have educational backgrounds in mechanical, civil, and industrial engineering. This education, combined with years of design experience, give us a unique perspective in the evaluation of incidents which may be related to the design and failure of a product. This experience includes the development and crash testing of roadside safety appurtenances, the analysis of machinery failures, and the design and at-sea testing of large material handling systems.
RETAIL FACILITY SAFETY
Places where the public is invited to conduct business, such as retail stores, restaurants, or offices, are subject to the same kinds of potential hazards and issues found in industrial workplaces. Some of the most common issues center around slips, trips, and falls, parking lots, and interaction with merchandise and fixtures. Many of the same resources used for more industrial facilities are applicable in the public forum as well. Our engineers draw from their own experience and knowledge to provide analyses and answers regarding these everyday exposures.
SLIP, TRIP & FALLs
All falls are not equal and can be complex events. Analysis of the kinematics of the fall is as important as understanding the context of the fall and other factors that may have played a part in the fall happening in the first place. Using tools such as the English XL Variable Incident Tribometer allows us to use peer reviewed, accepted scientific methods to measure and evaluate the slip resistance of a floor surface. Also, using other analytical tools such as applicable standards, codes, and guidelines along with knowledge and experience, our engineers are able to undertake a thorough investigation and determine conclusions that are understandable and based on facts.
THEME PARKS & RECREATION FACILITY SAFETY
Theme Park and Recreational facilities can sometimes present real hazards and dangers to the patrons. With everything from ride and safety restraint design to maintenance of rides, the facility, and grounds, there are many common safety and engineering issues present in these venues. Slips, Trips, Falls, ride operations and procedures, and guarding and warnings are all engineering issues that require in-depth understanding and expertise. Our engineers have the experience to provide detailed analyses and conclusions and answers for your case.
TIRE FAILURE ANALYSIS
An inspection of the subject tire and vehicle is done to identify the origin and cause of a tire failure. Our tire expert (featured on Nancy Grace Crime Stories) will inspect the tire to determine the factors that may have led to the failure, such as tire use and abuse, tire wear, signs of over deflection (underinflated and/or over loaded), road hazards, impact damage, tire aging factors, foreign materials, improper maintenance, manufacturing defects, or road hazards to aid in the identification of the origin and cause of the tire failure. In addition to inspecting the tire, the vehicle fitment will be confirmed along with the service provided by tire service stations confirming proper tire placement, rotation, repair, and tire fitment. When a tire failure occurs, it is crucial to call a tire expert who can discern how and why a tire failed. A tire expert has knowledge of tire design, construction, development, manufacturing, testing, and the recommended use of various tires. This knowledge allows a tire expert to quickly identify common defects which can cause or contribute to a tire failure.
WORKPLACE SAFETY, OSHA & ADA REGULATIONS
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) set forth laws and codes to help ensure our workplaces, such as construction, agriculture and mining, are using best practices and are as safe as possible. These codes define requirements for issues like Walking-Working Surfaces, Powered Platforms, Manlifts, Vehicle Mounted Work Platforms, Forklifts, Fall Protection, Warnings, and Multiple Employer Workplaces. The ADA also includes requirements for accessibility and reasonable accommodations in public areas and workplaces. We have the real world and consulting experience necessary to provide analyses of these complex issues and present conclusions that help define the issues of your case.
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