Biomechanics is a very broad scientific field, which can be defined as employment of the principles of physics, specifically mechanics, in the study of biological systems. As it pertains to forensic scientific analysis, it is used to determine if there is a cause and effect relationship between the accident and the claimed injury.
A biomechanical analysis generally involves evaluation of the forces applied to the specific human body segment as a result of the accident and determining if they are consistent with known mechanisms and force tolerance for the claimed injury. It can also involve the analysis of whether safety devices, such as seatbelts or motorcycle helmets, would have prevented or mitigated injury had these devices been worn in the accident.
AEGI has expertise in analyzing injuries related to high and low speed motor vehicle impacts, occupational injuries, lifting, pushing and pulling injury, slip-trip-fall injury, and injuries related to sports and sports equipment. Many of these injuries are orthopedic in nature. AEGI also has expertise in research methods and statistical evaluation of biomechanical engineering testing.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Falls are a common source of injuries, however, there can be many causes. The causes can be divided into two broad categories, trips and slips.
Trips occur when some object in the pathway disrupts the walking gait of the person. The issues involved in a trip can be code compliance, proper maintenance, housekeeping, proper construction, proper lighting conditions, and a myriad of other factors which are case related.
Slips are caused when the friction between the shoe and the floor is insufficient to prevent the foot from sliding. This can be caused by slippery floor material, poorly selected footwear, and/or contamination on the floor. The slipperiness of the floor can be measured against a standard sole material. Additionally, floor maintenance and housekeeping are often considered in a slip and fall.
Frequently, the biomechanics of the fall is important. The reported fall scenario and the forces involved in the fall can be compared to the injuries noted in medical records to determine if they are consistent. AEGI can also evaluate falls caused by medical problems or other causes.
A thorough evaluation of a slip or trip and fall may require evaluation in more than one area of practice, using various historical and current standards. AEGI has an extensive library of historical codes and standards, and proven expertise in all areas of slips, trips, and fall evaluation.
Specific cases have included: