How Long Does an Accident Reconstruction Visual Take to Create?

How Long Does an Accident Reconstruction Visual Take to Create? Header

Historically, civil courts have seen accident reconstructions as “more art than science.”  But as technology has evolved since the first national guidelines for traffic accident reconstructions were created in 1985, there has been a growing rise in their use for cases with such incidents. 

Now, many courts welcome the use of such reconstructions to help provide more context for the case in question. However, these reconstructions involve complex sets of data, and your audience might struggle to see the whole picture.

That’s why data visualizations derived from accident recon data can help provide a more accessible interpretation to jurors who otherwise lack the expertise required to make an informed decision. There are studies to corroborate these rising legal visual strategies; when provided both visual and auditory information, a juror can recall up to 700% more information compared to only hearing oral information.

While an accident recreation can bring a substantial return on investment for your case, how long does one take to create? Below, we answer this question and break out the different forms of accident reconstruction visuals that have seen real-life success in litigation.

Types of Accident Reconstruction Visuals and General Timelines

When working with an experienced forensic animation firm to develop a visualization, the process can vary. If you’re limited to a tight deadline and do not require complex visuals, the timeline can be as short as a few weeks.

However, the timeline can vary depending on the type of visuals your case requires, as well as the complexity of the animation.

3D Still from Car Crash Animation by Courtroom Animation - How long does accident reconstruction take?

3D Still from Car Crash Animation by Courtroom Animation

2D Accident Reconstruction Visualizations

2D accident reconstruction images are the most simple and cost-effective version for attorneys because the use of 3D computer software is not required. Instead, these 2D courtroom graphics are created with radiographic imagery, medical records, and photos. Due to the absence of 3D software, these visuals take less time to create than 3D animations.

Curious how much an accident recreation costs? Download our free pricing guide to learn more!

These stills are used to accurately establish the visual narrative of your case and better demonstrate various perspectives of the accident in question. The primary cost drivers of 2D accident reconstruction visuals are the various data sets depicted, as well as the complexity of the image required.

3D Accident Reconstruction Visualizations

3D accident reconstruction animations are efficient tools to visualize a car crash, pedestrian collision, motorcycle accidents, and more. 

As 3D illustrations require an animator to model the assets using 3D software, this process can be more time consuming. Similar to 2D reconstruction images, the primary cost drivers of 3D accident reconstruction videos are the various perspectives needed and figures depicted. The longer the video and more people or objects depicted, the higher the price.

While these legal videos take longer to create than a simple 2D graphic, these animations can increase the likelihood of your case receiving a more favorable outcome. 

For example, one accident reconstruction animation helped trial attorney Brad Wallace get a $550,000 increase in the settlement offer, resulting in a 1,000,000 final settlement. This was an over 2,000% return on investment!

Injury Animations with Reconstructions

Injury animations from your case’s reconstruction can play a crucial role in assisting jurors in understanding the viewpoint presented by both plaintiff and defense attorneys. These animations provide your case with a significantly higher level of insight compared to the base-level graphics described above.

3D Medical Recreation Depicting Injuries After a Motor Vehicle Collision

Why are injury animations helpful in litigation? Cases that involve accidents also involve complex surgical procedures. Animations of these procedures provide your audience with a comprehensive view of an entire surgical procedure in a matter of seconds.

As a real example of this in court, plaintiff attorney Myles Lenz utilized a brief medical animation to supplement his accident reconstruction animation. The car crash animation itself was mindful of the plaintiff attorney’s budget and captured the most critical components of the case, leading to a favorable return for his investment.

But how long do injury animations take to create? The complexity of these visuals are much greater than graphics as motion is now introduced. 

You must also consider that the more complex the motion, the more time is required to complete the animation. The primary cost drivers of injury animations with reconstructions are the type of procedure recreated and depicted.

General Accident Animation Production Schedule

As mentioned previously, the three elements primarily contributing to the overall pricing are:

  1. Duration
  2. Quality
  3. Complexity

As the most simple and cost-effective reconstruction, 2D illustrations’ price range can fall between $1,000 and $3,000. A step above 2D illustrations, 3D illustrations can cost between $2,000 and $5,000 as they require an animator to model the assets in 3D software. 

While animations, due to their complexity and duration, can range between $7,000 to $100,000, depending on if there are medical or technical requirements involved.

Please feel free to reference our pricing guide for more details on different types of animations and their associated price.

A production schedule or timeline to completion is an important element regarding any proposal.

Once an accident reconstruction proposal is executed, some providers may be unavailable for

weeks or even months without communication, contacting you only once the animation is


When choosing which legal graphic service your case requires, there are several things to consider: your schedule or deadline, budget, and whether your graphic will be most helpful in trial or mediation.

Taking these variables into account, as well as others mentioned in this article, will help you

identify which visual will be most beneficial to your case. Consider whether your needed graphic

could be simplified or even used for your own purposes, as some attorneys find it helpful to use legal graphics during their own preparation before they go to trial.

To ensure you, your expert, and your legal animation team are on the same page, a comprehensive proposal should entail a schedule to completion and outline milestones that require your review and approval. 

This will minimize the number of change orders, ensure the recreation is technically accurate as well as a timely completion for mock trials, focus groups, exhibit list deadlines, and mediation.  Communication and clearly defining your visual needs is essential as any necessary changes should be brought up as soon as possible to reduce cost and maintain a timely completion. 

What Accident Reconstruction Exhibits Do You Need for Your Case?

Accident reconstructions are a powerful tool for defense and plaintiff attorneys, and can have an even greater impact with a visual. While developing an accompanying data visualization may take time and an initial investment, this valuable tool can help you attain a more favorable verdict or settlement by educating your audience.

Now that you have a more detailed understanding of how long legal graphics take to create, where can you start in the pursuit of your own visuals?

There’s a reason why Courtroom Animation has maintained a 99% admittance rate and collaborated with over 2,000 cases. This experienced understanding of how 2D and 3D recreations can support you and your client is a crucial factor in executing your visual needs as quickly as possible.

Contact us to receive a data visualization quote based on your case’s needs today!

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