1991-02-01

Computer-Aided Accident Reconstruction: Its Role in Court 910370

As the computer software which has lightened and enlightened the work of the accident reconstructionist over the past several years moves into the courtroom, a debate has sprung up concerning the appropriateness of this latest form of scientific evidence. Both its admissibility as evidence and its use as “demonstrative evidence” have been questioned. The primary purpose of this paper is to sort out the several different categories of computer applications which are frequently lumped together as “accident reconstruction software,” and then to distinguish on the basis of these categories the arguments regarding the courtroom use of data and images generated by this software.
The paper also contains an attempt-based on current judicial scrutiny of scientific evidence-to predict the ultimate consensus which will emerge regarding the evidentiary use of computer-aided accident reconstruction results. Finally, there is a brief review of the present judicial acceptance of such results among the various U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions.

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