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Surveillance Camera Analysis

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Surveillance Camera Analysis

Surveillance video camera usage has become extremely common in today’s society and cameras installed for security now often provided valuable information for use in forensic analyses when they happen to capture some portion of an incident.  Surveillance footage is often very useful in the area of accident reconstruction where it can be employed alone or in combination with more traditional methods to determine accurate vehicle positions, speeds and the timing of events. Even when the video quality appears poor to the untrained eye, valuable and accurate information may be obtained.  Surveillance videos with limited views of an event can also be used to develop 3D animations of the event which can then be viewed from other more useful vantage points. An accident reconstruction based upon camera footage is often accompanied by a site visit to obtain accurate measurements of the location, items, and landmarks seen in the video, which can be used to convert the 2D video images into 3D positions of vehicles, people or other objects.  When investigating motor vehicle crashes, the video can be used to determine vehicle positions at different times, which can then be used to calculate the vehicle’s speed, often to a high level of accuracy. Surveillance video can also be used in combination with electronic data recorder (EDR) reports tho corroborate that data, provide context and fill in gaps in the data.

Our engineers have been assisting attorneys and insurance representatives in investigating accidents since 1990. We have a highly qualified staff of engineers with advanced degrees from top-tier universities who have provided testimony on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants at trial

Previous Cases

High Speed Collision

A vehicle making a left turn out of a parking lot was T-boned by another traveling at an excessively high speed. Using traditional reconstruction methods, the speeding car was calculated to be traveling somewhere between 90 and 115 mph. Analysis of surveillance footage, which captured the motion of the car for a fraction of second prior to the crash, yielded a speed of 100 mph, which confirmed and refined the reconstructed speed range. In addition to speed, the video also allowed us to show that the driver of the speeding vehicle never applied his brakes and that the left turning car he struck has stopped and waited for a break in oncoming traffic before beginning its turn. Based on the information provided in the video, we were able to show with a high degree of certainty that the crash would not have occurred has the speed car not been traveling at such a high rate of speed.

Restaurant Trip and Fall

A restaurant patron following the hostess was walking to his table when he unknowingly encountered a single step up and his foot caught on it, causing him to lose balance and fall forward. The fall was captured by the restaurant's security camera and the footage proved vital in our investigation of the scene. The video showed us where to conduct our inspection, the exact layout and lighting of the restaurant at the time of the accident, and assisted in clarifying and corroborating certain testimony. In this type of case, the video is also incredibly helpful for creating an accurate biomechanical simulation of the accident to understand the causes of the fall and the resulting injuires.