Confidential Settlement: Animating Impact Points After Tow Truck Forces Car Off Bridge

Tad Thomas, Esq., Thomas Law Offices, Louisville, KY

After a tow truck driver pulling a tractor-trailer crashed into a stopped vehicle on an Interstate bridge, the tow truck lost control and struck another vehicle with enough force to send it careening into the Ohio River. The Plaintiff was found dead in the river.

Tad Thomas, Esq., needed a presentation that would show clear liability on behalf of the tow truck driver, but we lacked the foundation necessary to accurately recreate every single frame of this event.

However, we did have enough data to accurately determine the most important moments in time needed to establish the Defendants’ reckless negligence. We used police reports, photographic evidence, and the mechanical engineer’s data to animate a series of stills that depicted the most important impact points, and we reinforced those snapshots with photographic evidence to anchor the animation’s foundational accuracy.

The presentation helped Mr. Thomas show the Defense how the tow truck driver failed to keep a lookout ahead, failed to keep his vehicle under reasonable control, and failed to exercise the ordinary care and skill of a reasonable commercial truck driver. The animation also helped Mr. Thomas successfully negotiate a confidential settlement.

Animating the Impact Points of a Multi-Vehicle Collision

Tad Thomas, Esq., Thomas Law Offices, Louisville, KY
I have worked with High Impact for years on everything from medical negligence cases, to product liability matters, to motor vehicle/trucking cases. When I needed a demonstrative to describe a complex sequence of events to the jury, I turned to High Impact again. And, they came through once again. While the case settled the week prior to trial, our focus groups suggested the demonstrative was effective in explaining the series of events. The week after trial was scheduled, I was sending them a complex medical case set for trial in May. Thanks again to the team at High Impact.

It all started when a vehicle stopped in the far left lane after being involved in a collision with another vehicle. We highlighted the road in red to convey the slowed traffic that the Defendant tow truck driver should have seen as he approached.

The Defendant should have seen the slowing traffic ahead.

You can clearly see (below) where the Defendant struck the first vehicle and how they were positioned. We added photographic evidence throughout the animation to reinforce the credibility of the data points provided by the expert, which grounded each chapter with a real-world foundation.

Position 1

After colliding with the stopped vehicle, the tow truck rammed into the back-left side of the Plaintiff, as established with photographic evidence of the wreckage and tire marks throughout the carnage.

Position 2

The data points provided by the expert depict the path of every vehicle in motion (below). We fade these points in and out throughout the animation to show the complete route of each vehicle, and to establish how the tow truck directly affected the trajectory of the Defendant.

Position 3

After crashing into the Plaintiff, photos of tire marks and additional wreckage on both vehicles help chart the exact location of the vehicles throughout the collision, adding more real-world credibility to what’s being depicted as the story progresses.

Position 4

As the Plaintiff’s vehicle collides with the wall of the bridge, photographic evidence shows markings that help establish the exact location of the impact point.

Position 5

The tow truck continues barreling through the Plaintiff, collides with the bridge wall, and pushes the Plaintiff’s vehicle over the wall and into the river. Photos showing the damage on both the truck and the car help emphasize the amount of force with which the Defendant totaled the Plaintiff’s vehicle at this impact point.

Position 6

Finally, we establish the resting point of the Defendant with photographic evidence depicting damages to the tractor-trailer he was towing.

Position 7

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.

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