$5.6M Verdict | Tractor-Trailer Crash | New York This is a distracted driving case involving a tractor-trailer driver’s choice to ignore road
This case involves a rear-end collision where the plaintiff was the driver of a Toyota RAV4 traveling in the slow right lane of the highway. The two vehicles ahead of him almost had an accident. They stopped short. This caused the Plaintiff to put his foot on the brake and he used the hand brake to stop his vehicle. He turned around to look behind him. He saw the Defendants car approximately 2 bus lengths behind. By the time he turned back around, he heard brakes and his vehicle was impacted by the Defendant’s vehicle which then ran off the roadway to the right and impacted the guardrail.
Total Trial Solutions was asked to create an animation of how the incident took place, to show how the defendant was driving at an unsafe distance, and to illustrate the spinal injuries sustained to the plaintiff. Our objectives were:
• Recreate the accident scene with all vehicles involved.
• Establish how the defendant was driving at an unsafe distance.
• Visualize the biomechanics of a rear-end crash.
We start with an overhead visual of the traffic. This allowed us to clearly see the distances and speeds of the cars involved. We also needed to see the accident that happened prior to this accident, involving the red car and grey truck. This accident caused the two cars in front of the Plaintiff to suddenly stop, making the Plaintiff stop and veer slightly off the road to avoid the collision.
By creating a Point-Of-View from the Defendant, we were able to demonstrate how the Defendant was driving behind the Plaintiff at an unsafe distance.
Next, we visually showed the mechanism of injury. It was necessary to see the rear-end collision’s impact on the plaintiff’s spine. To achieve this, we worked with Dr. Paul Ivancic, a human injury biomechanics and causation expert, to accurately recreate the whiplash injury that the plaintiff suffered.
We finished the animation by labeling the spinal loads and motions. During a rear-end crash, the lumbar spine sustains varied loading patterns. Immediately following impact, lumbar flexion-compression is due to extension of the pelvis and loads from the seat back. Subsequently, lumbar spine loads include extension and tension. During the rebound phase, the lumbar spine sustains flexion-compression and shear due to forward torso momentum and loads due to the lap belt.