Spain’s leading tech-empowered crash and collision reconstructionist

The Power of a Forensic Digital Twin: Improving workflows, settling disputes

Leica crash reconstruction - Expert Insight Article - David Lasanta_KV

As Spain’s leading tech-empowered crash scene reconstruction and damage assessment expert, David Lasanta Ajona is motivated by a lifelong passion for hi-tech and his desire to see accident victims get justice.

Improving workflows, settling disputes

With a background in automotive mechanics, David Lasanta Ajona started working for his father’s insurance damage assessment company, ServiCom Peritos, 25 years ago. Having been fascinated by technology since early childhood, it wasn’t long before he began to recognise gaps in the industry’s workflows that could be closed by applying the right technology, starting in his company. Initially, that meant developing their custom software to streamline internal workflows. ServiCom Peritos later began to look for ways to offer tech-enhanced services to their crash/collision and damage assessment clients. Today, whether serving the police investigators or insurance companies, Lasanta, the Technical Director at Servicom Peritos, is passionate about using all the available options to improve the quality of collision reconstruction or damage assessment reports.

“As a crash reconstruction expert, my primary responsibility is to collect all the evidence at the collision scene and present it to my clients in a manner that allows the investigators to understand what happened and prove it decisively,” says Lasanta. People ask for this kind of service whenever someone is injured or suspected of a criminal transgression. I have also observed that insurance companies are becoming more contentious nowadays even when it comes to more minor claims, meaning there is a growing demand for detailed and accurate crash reports.”


The Power of a Forensic Digital Twin

Crash investigation experts develop the ability to read a scene and understand what happened with simple measuring tools and trained brain power. But to explain the findings to a client or judge is another matter. Conventional approaches that rely on measurements, calculations and text descriptions can easily require a five-page report for a single finding or conclusion. But using a 3D forensic digital twin created with a laser scanner, you can present the same findings with pictures, 3D reconstructions, fly-throughs and simulations, allowing everyone to see and understand what happened immediately.

A forensic digital twin is a virtual 3D model of a crash scene, the collided vehicles, car parts, other debris, skid marks, and the environment. This 3D virtual copy of the real world is created from the so-called “point clouds”, 3D data sets captured directly on the scene using a 3D laser scanner. The forensic digital twin of a collision can also include geotags, frames from surveillance camera footage, notes or photos taken by the police or other witnesses. All this information can be integrated into a virtual space where the users, for instance, investigators, litigators, juries and others, can virtually “enter”, re-visit and explore whenever they want.

Impact Vector - Point cloud captured with Leica RTC360 laser scanner

Impact Vector - Point cloud captured with Leica RTC360 laser scanner_bird view

Impact Vector - Point cloud captured with Leica RTC360 laser scanner

Various companies provide point cloud processing software solutions, but ServiCom Peritos chose Leica Geosystems’ Cyclone REGISTER 360 program to create the Forensic Digital Twin. The advanced workflow features and the seamless data export to third party software solutions - allow for the development of the simulation and analysis of the collision incident.

The nature and size of the crash scene will determine the choice of scanning equipment. If the evidence is widely scattered, ServiCom Peritos might reach for the Leica Geosystems RTC360 laser scanner for the greatest range and highest level of accuracy. In simple scenarios, crash experts would use the Leica Disto S910 and orthorectification software to draw a scaled 2D accident sketch.  

Leica RTC360 laser scanning solution for crash investigation

Leica RTC360 laser scanning solution for crash investigation

But if it is a small to medium-sized urban crash scene, nothing beats the Leica BLK360, explains Lasanta. This is because you have clutter in the urban setting, such as lamp posts in the way or stray dogs that wander into your scene. So, you need an easily portable scanner that you can quickly position in multiple locations to get all the data you need. Once you are back in the office, usually you need to register all the different scans and clean them up, to remove redundant points and get rid of those dogs,” says Lasanta smiling. “ The registration and clean-up process used to take us about an hour. But now, thanks to the latest features of the Leica Cyclone FIELD 360 solution, we have registered the scan already on the accident scene. Using  the surface detection tool of Cyclone REGISTER 360, we are down to 10 mins to clean up the scene.”

Forensic Digital Twin in crash reconstruction

Forensic Digital Twin in crash reconstruction and collision investigation - Leica BLK360

Completing the picture

One of the most impressive features of the new digital technology is that we can combine information from different times and sources to create a complete picture of what happened. “Once, because of the sometimes slow workings of the Spanish justice system, by the time we were asked to reconstruct the crash, important landmarks at the crash scene had changed. So we had to use Google Street View and go back in time, get some photos to fill in missing information and integrate the new data within the point cloud.”  

“In another collision case, someone was trapped in a vehicle, so during the efforts to rescue the passengers, the police officers on the scene missed getting photos of the position of the involved cars. By the time I arrived, the vehicles had been moved during the rescue operation, so I could not get the positional evidence either. Later in the investigative process, we discovered that journalists who got there earlier had taken some pictures, which they published in a magazine reporting this severe incident. To accurately pinpoint the position of the vehicles at the end of the crash, all we had to do was use the picture kindly provided to us by the magazine and feed those shots into our forensic digital twin (3D model of the crash scene) using photogrammetry.”

After-sales support makes the difference

Lasanta is currently the only private crash expert in Spain using 3D laser scanner technology regularly in public safety and insurance-related investigations. “Having the market to oneself sounds nice, but without competitors and challengers, I have to do all the work of popularising this workflow and selling its advantages,” explains Lasanta. “Fortunately, I feel the public safety market is on the verge of wider adoption, which pleases me, as it means more justice for crash/collision victims. Furthermore, once law enforcement starts raising the standard, others must follow. It is inevitable: you can not beat a 3D laser scanner data with data captured  with a measuring wheel.”

“In Spain, there are various companies in crash reconstruction and damage assessment space. But my decision to publicly endorse Leica Geosystems’ solutions boils down to the excellence of their after-sales support, which is rare in the Spanish market. Leica’s forensic experts have always been there for me, ready and able to help in any way.”


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Laser scanning family - Leica RTC360 + Leica BLK360


3 good reasons to choose the Leica RTC360 laser scanner or the BLK360 laser scanner

With a Forensic Digital Twin – a precise 3D digital copy of the original crash or collision scene scene – investigators, reconstruction experts, and even trial jurors can evaluate the scene virtually from any angle. 

With a Forensic Digital Twin created by our laser scanning systems, all parties involved can "read" the accident scene, and understand what happened which can lead to faster dispute settlements.

Our dedicated forensic experts and after-sales team provide peer-to-peer help and advice to law enforcement, crash investigators and collision reconstructionists.


David Lasanta Ajona - Spain's leading private crash reconstructionist

Forensic Expert: David Lasanta Ajona
Director Técnico ServiCom | Servicios Periciales
Cantabria 15 Bajo | 26004 Logroño (La Rioja) | Spain

Author: David M. Taylor |

Interview facilitator: Ivan Macella
EMEA Business Development Manager - South
Hexagon Geosystems

Editor: Malgorzata Krol
Director Marketing Communications - Global Public Safety & Forensics
Hexagon Geosystems


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