Accident at Reduced-Visibility Intersection Seriously Injures Man


This case involves a car accident at an intersection. The plaintiff, a twenty-two-year-old female, was driving to school. She came to a rolling stop at an intersection on a highway. This intersection had a sight-visibility issue because of some trees. In the past, there had been a number of accidents at this intersection. The plaintiff looked to the left and then looked to the right before she pulled out. A car hit the plaintiff on the side and dragged her hundreds of feet. The car was cited for speeding, and the police were chasing the driver at the time of the accident. The woman suffered a very serious frontal lobe injury and now needs twenty-four-hour care.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. How can it be determined who was at fault?

Expert Witness Response E-004504

By examining photos of both cars and the way they were damaged, I can determine fault based on the visible extent of the damage. The actual physical damage betrays the circumstances regardless of the statements of the participants. I have inspected and assessed vehicles from a post-damage standpoint for eighteen years and I am able to generally determine fault based on the damage to the respective vehicles either by photos or a physical inspection. As a professional repair technician and an expert witness, I see numerous collisions daily and have done many case reviews involving automobile collisions.

Expert Witness Response E-004511

The critical issues are sight distance, the speed of the truck, acceleration rate by the plaintiff, and distance traveled by the plaintiff from where he stopped to where the impact occurred. What the witness says will be important for some of this. Whether the roadway met federal guidelines as well as additional state codes, requirements, regulations, and guidelines is also extremely important. If the event data recorder (EDR or ‘black box’) for either vehicle could be downloaded, that would be extremely helpful toward my analysis of the accident. I am an engineer who has been consulting accident reconstruction for over twenty-five years. My expertise with computer simulated reconstruction and trial exhibits allows for clear and credible expert testimony. In addition, my broad investigation experience has an emphasis on light and heavy trucks.

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