Accident on Highway Leads to Serious Injury

    Accident Reconstruction Expert WitnessThis case takes place in Georgia and involves an accident on a highway. The plaintiff, a fifty-three year old male, was driving from New York City to Boston at 3 AM. While driving, the plaintiff’s vehicle slid over a patch of black ice, went into the adjacent lane, and rotated 180 degrees before it came to a stop. The tractor-trailer in the adjacent lane did not stop in time and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle. The driver of the tractor-trailer claimed that when the vehicle rotated 180 degrees, he saw that it was in his lane, and applied the brakes. He also claimed that he started applying the brakes one hundred feet from where the plaintiff came to a stop. The plaintiff sustained serious injuries, and brought suit against the tractor-trailer’s driver and company for negligent driving and inadequate training. Plaintiff retained an expert in vehicle accident reconstruction.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Could a truck driver stop the truck when applying the brakes in time for this emergency?
    • 2. Was the truck driver properly trained to know to react in this situation?

    Expert Witness Response E-005208

    In cases where an automobile accident occurs, a number of determinations need to be made. The weather conditions, the exact vehicles being driven, the state of each vehicle, the speed of each vehicle, the experience of both drivers, and other factors relevant to the circumstances of the accident must be analyzed to understand the different aspects of the accident. In this case, it appears that the tractor-trailer did have adequate opportunity to halt the vehicle, and possibly mitigate some of the damage done to the plaintiff. I have over twenty-two years of experience in accident reconstruction, and by examining the different factors in the accident, I could determine how the tractor-trailer’s driver behaved. Also, regarding the training, most company’s have instructions for driving in snowy conditions, late at night, and the correct procedures for braking in these circumstances. If this company did not have similar preparatory items, the company may be liable for the harm done to the plaintiff.

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