When you sue the biggest car companies in the world for causing catastrophic injury or death, you better be prepared for an all out fight in your car accident lawsuit. Vehicle Crashworthiness lawyer, Todd Tracy conducts his own crash testing to prove his client’s cases in court. An auto dealer settled this fatal car accident case out of court shortly after their attorneys saw the results of Todd Tracy’s crash test.
Hello, this is Todd Tracy with the Tracy Law Firm in Dallas, Texas, with another Todd Talk. Today I want to talk to you about the importance of how engineering plays a part in a vehicle crashworthiness case. Many times when my clients hire my law firm, one of the biggest issues that we have to address is what was the speed that the vehicles were going and did that speed cause the injury because the safety systems did not work properly?
Now, the problem that we have in these cases is that so much of the time, the engineers on the defense, for the manufacturers, the increase the speed so dramatically, that no safe, or alternative design, or safety systems would have prevented the injury. So a lot of the times, what we have to do is, after the reports are produced for the plaintiff and the reports are produced for the defense manufacturer, we have to make a determination, do we need to go conduct a test to prove that the defense theory is wrong? And that’s what we’ve done in this particular case. In the particular case, the plaintiffs believed that the crashed occurred at 41 MPH. So what we did is we ran a crash test at 41 MPH so that it would create a certain amount of energy to create what’s called a 39 MPH Delta-V, which is a fancy of saying, “What’s the change in speed?”
Now the defense, on the other hand, they believed that the vehicle was travelling 64 MPH, so we ran their theory at 64 MPH, so it would create a 60 MPH Delta-V or change in velocity. What we then did, we ran a crash test out in California, we brought the vehicles back to our Crash Lab back here in Dallas, Texas, so that we could then take our FARO imaging device, which is a Doppler Radar system that makes a 4D model of the entire vehicle, so that we can then compare the two crash vehicles with the crush from the actual vehicle. And when we did that, the results were quite astounding. Let me show you.
We’ve taken the actual crash test vehicle and laid it out on what’s called a FARO model, and that’s what we see here on this diagram here. The red is the actual crash test. Now, what we have outlined in black is the crush from the defendant’s speed. They believe it was a 60 MPH Delta-V, or 64 MPH, however, when you look at the crush line, they went well beyond what the crush line was, or the crush profile on the vehicle. What does that tell us? This proves definitively, based upon engineering principles and principles of physics, that the defense was wrong.
We then take the same vehicle—this is the crash vehicle in red. We then used the line from the actual test of what we believed the speed was, at 39 MPH, and you’ll notice the crush profile matches up literally identical. What does that tell us? This tells us, from an engineering and physics standpoint, that our crash speeds were 39 Delta-V, or 41 MPH. Why is that critical? Well, in a crashworthiness case, if the speeds and the change in the velocity are too great, then no safety system matters. However, we know for a fact that the vehicle industry can provide safety to any restrained occupant with an airbag that performs properly and Delta-V’s up to 45 MPH.
Testing, sometimes, is absolutely necessary to actually prove the defense position is wrong. Whenever you hire any law firm to take on the biggest industry in the world, which is the vehicle industry, you better be prepared to conduct crash testing to disprove the defense theory. This is Todd Tracy with another Todd Talk.
If you, a family member, or friend has suffered a catastrophic car accident injury or were in a deadly car accident, there may be grounds to file a product liability lawsuit or a personal injury lawsuit against the vehicle manufacturer or the car dealer. The victim of a catastrophic injury or the family members of the deceased person may be entitled to significantly more money in damages than what can be recovered from a negligence case about the cause of the accident.
Todd Tracy and the car accident lawyers at The Tracy Law Firm do not care who was at fault in the accident. We focus on what caused the traumatic injury or death. For example, if a safety defect in the occupant protection system failed, you may be able to sue for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of income.
Todd Tracy’s Vehicle Crashworthiness law practice is his professional calling to help make motor vehicles safer for families and especially for children. Please feel free to contact Todd to evaluate your case at no expense. You can reach Todd at 214-324-9000 or directly through this contact form.