Case Studies

A motorcycle crash and a bias witness

The plaintiff was cruising on his motorcycle on a beautiful afternoon when he turned right off the main road onto a side street. He traveled along at approximately 25 MPH as he approached a 90-degree curve. 

A gas station exit was located just before the curve, and a car exiting the gas station pulled halfway into the right lane and stopped. The plaintiff took evasive action and swerved to the left to go around the car, but at the same time, the driver accelerated and t-boned the motorcycle. The plaintiff’s foot caught on something under the front of the car as his motorcycle fell over causing the removal of a large portion of the top of his foot and extensive nerve damage. 

Law enforcement arrived to conduct the investigation. One witness told the officer the plaintiff was speeding on his motorcycle and the speed caused the crash. The officer went to the hospital to write the plaintiff a speeding ticket but decided against it after the plaintiff strongly argued his case. However, the police officer still listed the plaintiff at fault. 

The plaintiff turned to a personal injury attorney who conducted their investigation in-house and determined they could not help him based on the information. The insurance company told them two witnesses said the plaintiff was excessively speeding which led to the crash. The plaintiff turned to another personal injury law firm who hired us to do the investigation. 

Our investigation located two witnesses not previously interviewed who both stated the plaintiff was not speeding on the motorcycle. Furthermore, they confirmed the car pulled into the path of the motorcycle who had the right-of-way. 

We interviewed the two witnesses who previously said the plaintiff was speeding and found one witness never said that and stated the plaintiff was not speeding and the car pulled into the plaintiff’s lane of travel. The other witness said the plaintiff was excessively speeding but could not estimate the speed saying only he was going more than 25 MPH, did not see the impact, and is an acquaintance of the driver that hit the plaintiff (on a first name basis).  Furthermore,  the witness stated the driver just got a new truck driving job, and she was afraid he would lose it if found at fault for the crash. 

In addition to the witness statements, we obtained crash scene photos showing the motorcycle came to rest at the point of impact which implied the plaintiff was going slow. We also determined the speed limit on that road was 55 MPH despite there being no speed limit signs and the police report listing the speed limit as 25 MPH. 

The law enforcement officer who conducted the investigation missed essential factors, never saw the horrific wound to the plaintiff’s foot and thought the plaintiff was embellishing the injury. 

We do not always get the outcome of our cases, but we have no doubt the plaintiff received the best care his attorneys could provide after getting all available information and not relying only on the police report and the insurance company.


Slip and Fall and the elements of tort law

The plaintiff was enjoying a birthday party at a chain restaurant had her night ruined when she slipped, fell, and injured her shoulder on the way to the bathroom -but there is more to this story.

A personal injury law firm hired us to investigate this slip and fall case to assist in determining if it meets the elements of tort law.  The plaintiff walked to the bathroom and almost slipped and fell on a grease spot on the tile floor. She politely told a staff member about the issue and proceeded to the restroom. Upon her exit, she slipped and fell in the same spot because she stated she had nowhere else to walk to get around it. 

Our investigation determined another member of the party warned her about the slippery spot as she got up to go to the bathroom, and the location of the greasy floor was behind the server station at the back of the restaurant. The plaintiff exited the bathroom, walked approximately 25 feet down a hallway, turned, and walked another 20 feet before falling. Furthermore, there were multiple different routes for her to avoid the known grease spot. 

As a result of our investigation, the law firm did not take the case which saved them not only money but a lot of time. 


Sight-distance measurements tell the truth

The plaintiff slowed to make a left turn into his driveway. Just as he turned, a truck pulling a trailer decided it would be a good idea to pass on the left and the two vehicles collided causing significant damage and injury. 

It seems simple to determine liability in a case like this, but only if the other driver is honest.  The defendant told both the investigating state trooper and the insurance company that he came around a curve and saw the plaintiff stopped in the road. Having nowhere to go and no time to stop, he had to go around. To add insult to injury, the defendant said the plaintiff waved him around. 

After close to two years of not receiving any compensation from the insurance company, the plaintiff contacted a personal injury firm who sent the case to us for a full investigation. 

Although there was no way to prove the plaintiff did not signal for the defendant to pass, we did conduct sight-distance measurements around the curve and determined the curve was not much of a curve at all. 

The defendant had plenty of time to see the plaintiff and come to a stop or slow down. 

When the defense saw our sight-distance measurement photos, the case took a turn in favor of the plaintiff. 


An innocent driver, a learners permit, a drunk passenger, and a lie

A teenage boy was driving through a small town and slowing down at a traffic light where he was going to turn left. Suddenly, a car slammed into the back of his truck sending his vehicle across traffic and into a parking lot. The impact was so severe he suffered multiple fractures and required back surgery.

When the police arrived, the driver that hit the teenager turned out to be a teenager herself. She was sixteen and driving on a learners permit. The licensed driver in the front seat of her car turned out to be her highly intoxicated step-dad. They told the investigating officer the car, an older model Trans Am V8 had too much power and she hit the other vehicle while trying to merge from the left to the right lane. However, the following day they told the insurance company the teenage boy cut them off and caused the crash. Even though their story to the insurance company contradicted the police report and what they told the officer, the insurance company denied the claim to the teenage boy. 

Our investigation confirmed the statements to the police, but more importantly, found an impartial witness. What really happened started about a quarter mile from the crash location. The 16 year-old girl pulled up to a red light next to another car that wanted to race. They took off at a high rate of speed and were nose to nose -the girl in the left lane and the other car in the right. She came upon the vehicle in front of her preparing to turn left. Wanting to win the race, she maintained the left lane at a high rate of speed, and when she tried to merge to the right lane, the front left corner of her car struck the back right corner of the vehicle slowing to turn.