Vector Scientific - Forensic Research and Forensic Consulting

About Impact Biomechanics

Forensic biomechanics, part of accident reconstruction to determine how injuries occurred Biomechanics Defined
Biomechanics is "the science that examines forces acting upon and within a biological structure and the effects produced by such forces." (Hay, 1973) "Hay's definition implies an understanding of three areas (i) biological structures, (ii) mechanical analysis; and (iii) an understanding of movement." (Milburn, 1996) "A thorough knowledge of anatomy and histology or mechanics will not, in themselves, assist in understanding movement. It is the ability of integrate this knowledge into providing the understanding of movement that distinguishes a good biomechanics programme." (Millburn, 1996)

Forensic Biomechanics
Forensic Biomechanics is an applied science wherein the legal community calls upon biomechanical experts for consultation, analysis, and expert witness testimony regarding biomechanical issues. In the forensic arena, biomechanists are asked to evaluate and describe human body kinematics and kinetics, and the presence or absence of specific injury mechanisms applied to an injured party. The methods employed usually involve review of medical documentation describing the injuries, inspection of the accident site, inspection of protective safety equipment, review and application of scientific literature and test data, and case specific testing. The methods employed can involve review of medical documentation describing the injuries, inspection of the accident site, inspection of the protective safety equipment (automobile including seat belts, airbags, etc; sport or industrial helmets; sport equipment, etc.), review and application of scientific literature and test data, statistical analysis of field data and injury databases, computational biomechanics including FEA (Finite Element Analysis) computer modeling and simulation, and case specific crash testing or component testing.

VSI Biomechanical Areas of Specialty
The biomechanics staff at VSI has been providing expert services to the legal community since 1988 and has earned a reputation as an industry leader in forensic biomechanics including conducting internally and externally grant funded research, testing, and publishing in the academic community on forensic biomechanics applications. VSI experts analyze injury biomechanics in automobile, sport/recreational, and industrial/occupational accidents. Biomechanical consultations can include evaluation of injury mechanisms, causation, and prevention.

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