FFEI provides litigation support that makes complicated evidence easy to understand in a credible manner. We provide exceptional technical input explaining the theory of the case, developing penetrating questions for interrogatories and cross-examination, and give effective testimony. Our highly experience engineers assist in the rapid evaluation of the technical aspects and merits of a case, critical element assessment and determination of the technical course of action. Our experience as practicing engineers within industry; communication and teaching skills as university professors; qualifications including both PhDs and PEs; and ability to apply the depth and breadth of our knowledge, makes FFEI uniquely able to support our clients’ needs.
FFEI owns and employs state of the art equipment and software packages in addition to in-house calculation programs for accurate, well-founded engineering analysis. Our engineers combine their industry experience, advanced academic backgrounds and application specific knowledge to analyze even the most technically challenging cases. With practical engineering experience from products and process design, patenting, testing, analysis and manufacture as well as failure analysis, safety assessment, code compliance and problem resolution, the engineering analysis and R&D capabilities of FFEI engineers have been recognized by multiple government agencies and Fortune 500 companies.
Modeling & Simulation
FFEI employs advanced, proven CAD modeling, analysis and simulation software and formulations methods.
Experiments may test the case theory directly or may test for consequences derived from the theory using mathematics and logic. In engineering, kinematics is the study of the motion of bodies without reference to the forces causing that motion or the mass of the bodies. In contrast, dynamics is the study of physical systems (particles, rigid bodies and deformable bodies) in motion subject to the laws of physics and motion including work, energy, impulse, momentum, mass and inertia characteristics. Using mathematical models, a physical condition or event sequence is represented. Simulation of dynamic systems involves the formulation of mathematical models that employ initial conditions, physical properties and governing laws of physics to predict or model motion reproducing a sequence of events. No matter how elegant a theory is, its predictions must agree with experimental results, observable conditions and evidence if we are to believe that it is a valid description of actual occurrences.
Field & Laboratory Testing
FFEI uses sophisticated, qualified and calibrated measurement tools, sensors, indicators and data acquisition systems for physical testing.
Field and laboratory testing (whenever possible) of scene elements and evidence (actual or exemplar) is a critical component to an investigation. Experimental tests may lead to either the confirmation of the investigative hypothesis, or to the ruling out of the hypothesis.
The scientific method requires that a hypothesis be ruled out or modified if its predictions are clearly and repeatedly incompatible with experimental tests.
The results of testing are used to refine or formulate new scientific theories. Note that the necessity of experiment also implies that a theory must be testable. Theories which cannot be tested, because they have no observable ramifications, do not qualify as scientific theories.
Testimony & Exhibits
Effective testimony, especially in a trial setting, involves skilled communication by which the highly experienced engineers of FFEI present the results of thorough engineering analysis in a credible, well-founded form which naturally unfolds to the conclusions.
As educators, FFEI engineers explain findings and opinions to complex issues in technically accurate yet understandable means.
Through the use of oral explanation coupled with exhibits and demonstrative aids of many forms, we convey our testimony in a meaningful way, which clearly and convincingly resolves many issues.
Investigation & Reconstruction
FFEI systematically explores the issues of a case based on an open-mind and the scientific method. The scientific method is a process of inquiry that is reliable, consistent and non-arbitrary which relies on four elements: observation, hypothesis, theory, and experiment. We seek to measure and document all available data and information as well as determine sources of additional insight. Reconstruction is the process of using physical and factual evidence, in conjunction with mathematics, physics, and applied engineering disciplines to determine how an accident occurred.
FFEI recognizes that the purpose of an investigation is to determine the cause(s) of an accident or failure and in many instances to identify corrective actions to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
Research & Interpretation
FFEI maintains and extensive in-house library and electronic access to millions of pages of document resources including:
- Related case law, descriptions and verdicts
- Industry standards & guidelines
- Building codes & regulations
- Consumer product recalls
- Accident reconstruction journals
- Product patents
- Vehicle specifications, crash test data, government and insurance investigations
- Biomechanics & injury data
The value of this extensive data is in the technical understanding and applied interpretation by FFEI with respect to a specific case in order to provide our client with clear and meaningful information.
Documentation & Reports
FFEI provides analysis results and conclusions in a variety of forms including letters, affidavits, and engineering reports providing findings in written form to our clients. All forms of data and information obtained during the investigation are documented and securely maintained. FFEI reports clearly and understandably describe and explain the technical aspects, analysis and conclusions all supported by sound foundations.
One picture is worth a thousand words. The majority of education, learning and trial research indicates that providing visual presentations concurrently with verbal explanation is currently the most effective means of communicating complex concepts when compared to traditional forms of solely written or oral means. FFEI realizes that to maximize the value and usefulness of our work it must be clearly explained and understandable by “the decision makers” who must consider a great deal of unfamiliar information.
FFEI provides demonstrative aids and multimedia presentations with many of our reports as well as with initial investigative summaries and case documentation.
Scene & Evidence Preservation
The rapid notification to FFEI of the occurrence and location of an accident provides the most effective preservation of the scene and potentially critical evidence. FFEI documents the scene (including the environment, landmarks, ground scars, visible paths, the relative location of scene elements) and evidence. The area is surveyed and diagrammed in order to create a site drawing and preserve important positional information. Photographs, video footage, statements, recordings, reports and other sources of information are obtained. All forms of evidence are identified and documented. In many cases, critical evidence is spoiled, lost or simply thrown out during the site “clean up,” therefore timely scene and evidence preservation leads to stronger cases.