What is the Difference between a Biomechanic and a Doctor? by André Loyd, P.E.

Figure 1.  Biomechanics Picture http://integratedbiomechanics.com/

Figure 1.  Biomechanics Picture http://integratedbiomechanics.com/

The difference between a doctor and a biomechanic is the same as a mechanic and an accident reconstructionist.  Mechanics are experts in diagnosing and fixing what is damaged on a vehicle, while accident reconstructionists are experts on deciphering what happened during a vehicle accident.  Likewise, doctors are skilled at diagnosing and healing an injury, but biomechanics are trained to tell you how the injury occurred.  An accident reconstructionist looks at the physics of an auto accident, just as a biomechanic looks at the physics behind an injury.

Figure 2:  Biomechanics Picture.  www.washingtonpost.com

Figure 2:  Biomechanics Picture.  www.washingtonpost.com

 

 

A biomechanic views the injury itself as evidence.  Embedded within the injury is information about the forces, direction, and body position during the incident that a biomechanic can extract and use to reconstruct the injury event.  This information can be used in litigation to discover the truth about how an injury occurred.  Similar to how vehicle accidents are reconstructed, a biomechanic uses the injury diagnosis and engineering principles to analyze the injury.  With the doctor providing the injury diagnosis, a biomechanic can verify or disprove if an injury scenario matches the injury.   

Hence, when it comes to litigation, the answer of whether to use a doctor or a biomechanic comes down to what specifically needs to be known.  If the question is, “what is the injury?” a doctor provides that skill.  If the question is, “what caused the injury?” or “who is at fault in an injury event?”, a biomechanic is your answer. 

Contact André Loyd, P.h.D. for more information.