UCLA Extension

Biomechanics and Accident Reconstruction

Understanding the biomechanics and related basic anatomy for the most commonly contested injuries helps you to effectively prepare for prosecuting/defending your cases in trial or reaching a settlement. Topics include the basics of accident reconstruction and biomechanical analysis for litigation covering accidents; how to select and depose biomechanics and accident recon experts, and specific baseline questions to ask at a party deposition. A qualified accident reconstruction and biomechanical expert can reel in a high verdict, destroy a case, or force a settlement. Learn from an expert on what you need to know to prepare your case and how biomechanical analysis can help you effectively prosecute or defend a case. This course gives you the information you need to prepare for trial or a settlement conference. Topics include the basics of accident reconstruction and biomechanical analysis for litigation covering accidents; how to select and depose biomechanics and accident recon experts, and specific baseline questions to ask at a party deposition.

This course is for lawyers, paralegals, claims adjusters, and any legal professional interested in understanding accident reconstruction and biomechanics for litigation.

Topics

Subjects include understanding the basics of accident reconstruction and biomechanical analysis for litigation covering accidents in the following broad categories: (1) auto vs. auto, pedestrian & motorcycle accidents, (2) slip, trip & falls (from road obstructions, chairs and ladders), and (3) occupational injuries under vibration and repeated loads (railroad & truck operators). With this background, the course will discuss how to select and depose a biomechanics and accident recon expert in these areas, with a list of specific baseline questions to ask at a party deposition. The students will learn about injury biomechanics and related basic anatomy for most commonly contested musculoligamentous injuries in these cases, including those at cervical and lumbar spine, knee &hip joints, shoulder complex, and skull and brain trauma. Daily activities that can generate forces at each of these anatomical sites are also discussed so that one can competitively evaluate the casual connection between a claimed injury, specific accident, or an occupation. Finally a flow chart will be provided to help guide the claim adjusters to evaluate their case based on the science of accident reconstruction and biomechanics.

The course is divided into several modules. The course starts (Module 1) by defining the fields of accident reconstruction and biomechanics with respect to the following broad categories of accidents: (1) auto vs. auto, pedestrian & motorcycle accidents, (2) slip, trip & falls (from road obstructions, chairs and ladders), and (3) occupational injuries under vibration and repeated loads (railroad & truck operators). The module will end by discussing qualifications to look for in choosing experts in these areas and a list of baseline questions every attorney need to ask in deposing these experts or involved parties. In Module 2, biomechanics-based accident reconstruction for cases in each of the above categories is thoroughly discussed. Modules 3 and 4 deal with injury biomechanics for most commonly contested musculoligamentous injuries to cervical/lumbar spine, wrist (carpal tunnel), skull and brain, knee and hip joints, shoulder complex, and chest. The module 4 is separated from module 3 in that it focuses on occupational injuries due to vibrational loads and repeated tasks. Daily activities that can generate forces at each of these anatomical sites are also discussed so that one can competitively evaluate the casual connection between a claimed injury, specific accident, or an occupation. The mechanisms and thresholds for causing skull fracture and internal brain bleeds from various confrontational activities are also discussed to help criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors evaluate their cases from the viewpoint of biomechanics. Finally a flow chart will be provided to help guide the claim adjusters to evaluate their case based on the science of accident reconstruction and biomechanics.

Lecturer

Vijay Gupta, PhD, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Professor of Bioengineering, at UCLA. He received a MS in Civil Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Gupta’s research has covered a wide range of areas, including biomechanics, impact management, surface science, applied mechanics, and materials science. He is widely published with over 175 publications, four U.S. Patents awarded and several pending. He has given numerous (over 300) principal keynote lectures in governmental agencies, companies, and national and international conferences and symposia in nearly all industrial countries. He has served as a biomechanical, accident reconstruction, and failure analyses expert in over 1000 cases and has testified extensively in the United States Courts both as a defense and plaintiff’s expert.

For more information contact the Short Course Program Office:
shortcourses@uclaextension.edu | (310) 825-3344 | fax (310) 206-2815

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