Pittsburgh Biomechanics specializes in the analysis of both high and low speed automobile collisions involving passenger vehicles.
Low Speed Accidents
The majority of automobile accidents occur at low speeds in the form of rear-end, frontal, side (T-bone), or sideswipe collisions. Oftentimes, accidents include more than two vehicles, or a vehicle and a stationary component (i.e. utility pole). Pittsburgh Biomechanics specializes in the analysis and reconstruction of these types of accidents to quantify the severity of the incident in terms of velocity and/or acceleration changes of a vehicle and the occupant(s). The potential for injury is then examined and explained. Our engineers have reconstructed a countless number of low speed automobile accidents and possess the skills and knowledge necessary to ensure accurate results.
High Speed Accidents
High speed automobile accidents require more complex analyses, as they generally involve more variables. Parameters such as roll-over, ejection, air bag deployment, occupant interaction with vehicular structures, and restraint system forces are all taken into consideration when assessing injury causation.
Commercial & Mass Transit Vehicular Accidents
Pittsburgh Biomechanics analyzes and reconstructs accidents involving tractor-trailers and mass transit, high occupancy vehicles.
Commercial /Tractor Trailers
Pittsburgh Biomechanics has analyzed numerous accidents involving commercial vehicles and tractor-trailers. These accidents are typically between the commercial vehicle (tractor-trailer, box truck, back hoe, etc.) and a smaller passenger vehicle due to the size and visual obstructions present in the larger vehicle. When providing analysis involving a commercial vehicle, it is important to address what parts of the larger vehicle were involved in the accident, the angle of impact, and the over-ride factor of the larger vehicle upon the smaller vehicle.
Mass Transit Vehicular Accidents
High occupancy vehicles (busses, trains, trolleys) possess the challenge of unconventional seating arrangements, many times without the option of a restraint (seatbelt). Additionally, interactions between occupants must also be considered in a vehicle accident. Pittsburgh Biomechanics is experienced in cases involving these vehicles and is able to determine if the mechanism of injury was present in a particular incident.
Occupational Injuries / Workers’ Compensation Cases
Injuries in the workplace are common and occur in many ways. Our scientists and engineers possess the skills and knowledge to analyze the mechanism of injury and determine if the incident could be related to the alleged pathologies.
Past cases have included injuries resulting from:
- Slip, trip and fall
- Machinery (cranes, fork trucks, back hoes, etc.)
- Tools (saws, drills, jackhammers, etc)
Based on the results of our analyses, our experts are prepared to provide testimony in cases involving workers’ compensation hearings.
Pittsburgh Biomechanics has analyzed accident cases and injury causation in relation to recreational activities. A biomechanical analysis by Pittsburgh Biomechanics has been performed in incidents including, but not limited to:
- Amusement Park Rides
Safety Equipment Analysis
When analyzing injury cases, it is important to determine if utilized safety equipment acted and reacted correctly. In motor vehicle accidents, this is an important element in accident investigation and analysis.
Restraint systems (seat belts)
The seat belt is designed to hold the occupant in the seat and therefore couple the occupant to the vehicle allowing them to accelerate (or decelerate) together. The use of a seat belt reduces the overall acceleration of the occupant and the probability of the occupant’s body striking structures within the vehicle, also known as secondary collisions. The seat belt accomplishes this by distributing restraining loads over bony portions of the body such as the pelvis, shoulders and chest. The use or non-use of a safety restraint in a motor vehicle accident is an important parameter to consider while reconstructing motor vehicle accidents and occupant kinematics. Whether a seat belt is used has a direct impact on the motions and forces felt by a vehicle occupant.
In vehicular accidents, air bags are meant to prevent catastrophic injury. Air bags are designed to rapidly inflate in the opposite direction of a vehicle occupant’s initial movement during a severe collision and then quickly deflate. The air bag provides the occupant a cushion and restraint during a severe accident to reduce the chances of secondary collisions with the interior of the vehicle. If the occupant is not restrained by the seat belt, or air bags do not deploy as per their intended design and function, an occupant’s body can contact other structures inside the vehicle. These secondary collisions typically provide the mechanisms for an injury. Air bag deployment is an important factor in determining the severity of a motor vehicle accident.
In recreational vehicle accidents, it is important to understand if a subject helmet has served its intended function. Inspection of a helmet involved in a collision by Pittsburgh Biomechanics’ engineers is often completed to determine the severity of an incident and if the safety device has been compromised beyond its designed and intended purpose.
Product & Premise Liability
Pittsburgh Biomechanics has experience in cases involving injuries sustained as a result of defective and/or unsafe products, and premise conditions (i.e. falling objects). The amount of force exerted on the human body in the majority of these cases can be determined. By understanding tissue tolerances and the required amount of force to cause particular injuries, our engineers and scientists can prove or disprove if an injury occurred as a result of a particular incident.