After an 18-wheeler traveling at highway speeds reached a sharp curve in the road, the driver failed to sufficiently slow down when he turned and hurled his trailer into the opposite lane, catastrophically injuring a young man in an oncoming pickup. According to the Defendant’s testimony, it became apparent that he may have been leaking fuel from a hole in the diesel tank of his 18-wheeler for up to six miles before the wreck.
The Defendant claimed he was too scared to apply his brakes for fear of the friction igniting the fuel leak. However, his travel path passed several possible locations along the way where he could have pulled over, including a volunteer fire station. Instead of stopping to address the leak, the 18-wheeler continued at full speed until the driver reached a dangerously sharp curve in the road.
Leonard B. Gabbay, Esq., needed a visual presentation that would amplify the negligence exhibited in the Defendant’s alleged decision to pass up numerous opportunities to address the diesel fuel leak until it caused him to lose control and injure another person.
We traveled to Texas to perform a full-site inspection at the crash scene and a full vehicle inspection on exemplar models of the Plaintiff’s and Defendant’s vehicles. We used the crash reconstruction data to build three animations that would achieve the following visual objectives:
- Chart the Defendant’s path over several miles as he passed multiple possible opportunities to pull over.
- Animate what happened as the Defendant approached the curve and hurled his trailer into the oncoming Plaintiff.
- Show the Plaintiff’s POV as he approached the curve and was impacted by the trailer.
The visual presentation helped Mr. Gabbay solidify his position that the Defendant was grossly negligent for his client’s catastrophic injuries, and could face major punitive exposure if they allowed this case to go in front of a jury. Mr. Gabbay was able to settle the case for a successful, confidential amount just short of the trial date.
We aimed to prove the 18-wheeler driver could have stopped but chose not to stop. The video solidified and illustrated our position that this conduct established gross negligence.
Exhibit A: Charting a Path of Negligence
The first animation charts the path of the Defendant driver down the highway as he passed more than 10 possible opportunities to address a fuel leak. We animated the path of the Defendant over Google maps satellite imagery.
We also performed video-recorded drive-throughs of the driver’s path, which allowed us 1) to show how easily the Defendant could have pulled over and addressed the possible fuel leak numerous times, and 2) to introduce additional threats along the way, such as a school bus that could have been traveling down that same highway around the same time of this collision.
Exhibit B: Reconstructing What Happened
After establishing the Defendant’s gross negligence in choosing to skip numerous opportunities that would have addressed this dangerous situation, we reconstructed what happened from an aerial perspective.
To ensure maximum accuracy, we traveled to the scene in Texas to perform on-site inspections, which included technical photography, video-recorded drive-throughs, and aerial videography using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). We also performed full-vehicle inspections of both Plaintiff and Defendant’s vehicles to ensure accuracy in our models.
The experts at Jacobson Forensic Engineering, Inc., provided simulation data to ensure the accuracy of all the motion physics. Below is an earlier rendition of this animated data - before adding photographic textures and animated infographics.
Exhibit C: Establishing the Victim’s Powerless Perspective
Once we had established how easily the Defendant could have avoided this tragic outcome (if the fuel leak had occurred over a six-mile stretch), the next animation enables viewers to evaluate how impossible it would have been for any reasonable driver to avoid this collision from the Plaintiff’s perspective.
Being able to see and evaluate how unavoidable this collision was from the Plaintiff’s perspective helped emphasize the gross negligence exhibited in how easily this could have been avoided from the Defendant’s perspective.
High Impact’s team of visual strategists, artists and developers can build and customize your digital presentation for any case involving personal injury, medical malpractice, birth trauma - or any subject involving complex information.