15820Re: [infoguys-list] belted - Can we just stick to the applicable law please
- Feb 7, 2010It's sad that we call ourselves professionals, yet we can't even respond to a simple request for an OPINION about how an injury occurred. This thread has gotten so far off base, from its original intent, that I doubt Amy even knows what case it is anymore, and she's the one that submitted the request for opinions.
There's been so much slamming and flaming going on, that we've forgotten about the question in question! Look at Amy's original post below, and (DON'T) tell me what this has to do with Sue's wreck in the 1960's, anyone's law in Missouri, or going from Point A to Point B, or whether the collision occurred in Fl, GA, SC, NC, or who care's where!
The question that Amy posed as this:
1. "What caused Perre's paralysis? Was it the accident or was it due to the possibility that he was unbelted?"
She didn't ask for us to ASS-U-ME anything about the cause of the collision. Although there have been some good questions, that a good investigator should be thinking about, IF he/she were investigating the collision, it's not what Amy asked! She did not ask for us to investigate the collision. She asked for us to consider WHY Perre's neck got broken? Would his neck have gotten broken, IF he had been restrained?
The simple fact is Perre has a broken neck and is now paralyzed from the neck down. It is questionable as to if he had a seatbelt on or not. In the event that it is determined that he was not wearing a seatbelt, would he have broken his neck in the collision, if had been restrained?
I think the answer, based on the information presented (and that's all we should consider) is YES, regardless of whether or not Perre had been restrained, it is highly likely that his neck would have been broken in this type of collision.
When you're considering injuries in a collision, you have to consider several things. First there is a collision of the vehicle(s). Second, there is a collision of the occupants within the vehicle with the vehicle (or other occupants) and Third, there is a collision of organs/body parts within (or attached to) the body of each occupant.
Think of it this way. If a car is traveling 35 MPH and strikes a immovable fixed object, the vehicle's speed is reduced from 35 MPH to 0 in a fraction of a second. The occupants in that vehicle are not stopped by the vehicle's impact with the tree, but continue to travel within the vehicle at 35 MPH, until they strike something within the vehicle to stop their momentum/energy. If they are restrained, they impact the seatbelt and/or airbag at 35 MPH. If they are unrestrained, they impact the steering wheel, dashboard, another occupant, windshield, door, etc at 35 MPH. Once the body is stopped by whatever stops it, the internal organs, head (and brain) and extremities continue traveling at 35 MPH, until they strike something that stops them. Organs strike other organs, ribs, etc), arms/legs flail about striking objects within the vehicle, the head continues at until it strikes something, or is stopped by the neck (whiplash), and then the brain continues within the head until it is stopped by the skull.
In the case Amy presented, there is a purported speed difference, in which Perre was purported to be traveling slower than Whitney. When Whitney's vehicle strikes Perre's vehicle (from the rear), Perre's vehicle suddenly speeds up significantly. Perre, unfortunately does not speed up, until something within the vehicle strikes his body and speeds it up (probably the seatback). Perre's head is not protected by the seatback (unless there was a properly adjusted headrest) so Perre's body is sent forward as the car accelerates (from the impact), but his head is left unsupported(?) thus only "catches up" with his body, when the neck reaches it stretching capacity, or his head struck something in the car which accelerated it.
Unfortunately, the stretching capacity of the neck is not very good. The vertebrae within the neck do not adjust well to significant stretching. Imagine 7 saucers stacked on top of one another. If you push down on the back edge of the top saucer, it is going to tip backward, and press or "pinch" the rear edge of the saucer beneath it, and this is going to continue until the energy is absorbed or the saucer's start "chipping" from the pressure. That's what probably happened to Perre's neck. The Vertebrae chipped from a significant "pinch" (whiplash) and the chip (wedge shaped) was forced forward, through the spinal cord which runs down within the vertebrae (like a cord through a donought hole).
The second scenario, much the same as the first is that Perre's body was slammed forward so fast, that it was much like a cartoon character who takes off so fast, he leaves his head behind him. Perre's body may have been slammed forward so fast, that it literally left the head sitting still, thus his head slipped off the neck. Place your fists one on top of the other, standing up, and simply move the top fist forward, while leaving the bottom fist stationary. The top fist is the head. The bottom fist is the neck. Now remember that there's a spinal cord going from the top fist all the way through the bottom fist. It's simple sheered in half by the Vertebrae.
There is a third scenario, which it appears that the Defendant's attorney is going to argue. That scenario presumes that when the cars collided, Perre was ejected from the seat, and was propelled upward, striking his head on the interior roof of the vehicle. This is called a axial loading injury. The "load" is Perre's body being forced upward, until his head strikes the roof, and stops the upward travel, and his spine is "loaded" with pressure until the vertebrae is crushed. This scenario can reasonably be proven IF a GOOD Trauma Surgeon, accompanied by X-rays can demonstrate that the vertebrae is crushed (circumferentially), instead of being chipped or wedged.
Now, in the third scenario, a seatbelt would have greatly lessened the chance of Perre striking the roof of the vehicle, and in so doing, would have greatly lessened his chance of receiving a broken neck. There are a lot of other variables to this. Was there roof crush? How tall was Perre?, etc. This could be a very viable argument for the defense.
My opinion is this though. Regardless of whether or not Perre was restrained or not, or how the injury occurred, we can be assured of one thing. Had Whitney's vehicle not collided with Perre's vehicle, Perre's neck would not have been broken! That is an assurance! Thus, Whitney was the primary cause of Perre's injury.
Accident Investigator / Paramedic-Retired
Smith & Carson, Inc
$20 donated to the Haitian relief fund. I really need your opinions!
thanks, as always.
What caused Perre's paralysis? Was it the accident or was it due to the possibility he was unbelted?
Whitney a soft spoken divorced 30 year old woman was driving a Kia minivan at 2 am on 12 31 08 with her 2 year old in the back, driving 350 miles to her destination on interstate 95. She was travelling at approximately 70 mph. She rear ended a 1996 Toyota Corolla occupied by 3 middle aged Haitian men .. The collision occurred in the right lane. Whitney has no memory of the accident. She cannot explain her lack of memory.
She is at fault.
The plaintiff, Perre, was in the back seat. The witnesses do not agree on his position in the back and whether he was belted. He struck his head on the roof and he is a quadriplegic. There will be defense expert testimony that he was not belted, and that belting would have prevented the injury, and therefore he was negligent. (there is no law requiring a passenger to be belted in the back seat).
The plaintiff's experts will testify that he was belted, and further will claim that belting would not have made a difference. The parties disagree on life expectancy and the cost of future care.
The vehicle occupied by Peirre, appears to have been travelling at well below highway speed, even though traffic was light.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, February 07, 2010 3:30 AM
Subject: Re: [infoguys-list] belted - Can we just stick to the applicable law please
Why do you think that I am referring to Missouri ???? Not even close.
That wasn't MY argument and you are barking at the wrong person.
I would assume that in the particular area 70 was permissible as Amy never
raised that as an issue or argument for the defense.
My presumptive case that I addressed back in 1967 when the Corvette hit me
happened in Miami Beach, not Missouri.
In a message dated 2/7/2010 12:10:43 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
What does 1967 have to do with anything and why are we still talking
about Missouri? I95 does not go anywhere near Missouri.
Since Amy did not specify the location, but I told you where it
happened, that should be a clue.
If you want to advance some sort of slow speed argument, you might
want to ask Amy what the speed limit actually was.
I'll leave any further on this to you guys.
Sent from my iPhone
On Feb 7, 2010, at 1:22 AM, _suesarkis@..._ (mailto:suesarkis@...)
> Bill -
> I cannot speak for TODAY but it was quite dispositive in 1967 in
> that if
> the officer wrote you up for having violated a rule of the road, you
> had to
> post bail. I believe it was only $50 if my memory serves me
> correctly. I
> was shocked as the poor driver from Missouri was begging and
> pleading with
> them to leave me alone. He was truly a basket case.
> Common sense dictates that the facts determine the verdict
> regardless of
> who is in the rear. That's a no brainer. Having the case dismissed
> my appearance showed, in my opinion, the stupidity of either the law
> the law officer.
> However, you mentioned Miami to Jacksonville. I didn't read anything
> whereby Amy had specified any cities or, for that matter, any
> states. She
> could have left from Yulee, FL having gone through all of Georgia
> and South
> Carolina heading for Rowland, NC and still not have traveled 350
> miles. On
> I-95 the speed limits vary from area to area, urban versus rural, etc.
> However, I question your statement of, "Any local juror will know
> that you
> better stay in the slow lane at 70MPH on I-95 during the late night
> hours unless
> you want to get run over".
> I truly cannot believe that the traffic is that heavy anywhere on
> I-95 at
> TWO A.M. in the morning. What am I missing here ??
> By the way, was the I-95 in existence in Miami in 1967? I only
> recall US
> 1. Just curious.
> In a message dated 2/6/2010 12:40:17 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
> _oracleintl@..._ (mailto:oracleintl@...) writes:
> First of all, this was an I-95 collision and 70MPH on I-95 is the
> you travel in the slow lane, especially between Miami and Jax in the
> of the night, which is where this accident occurred. I cannot begin to
> imagine why some of our other contributors are making at fault
> based upon the Missouri rear-end doctrine.
> HELLLLLOOOOOOO . . . I-95 doesn't go anywhere near Missouri.
> My diligent search has found no case so much as arguing that a person
> should not drive the speed limit in the slow lane here - but I am
> aware that all things are different out there in Kookyfornia, Sue.
> Nevertheless, this is a Florida case, so we need not be concerned
> with the
> Kooks and
> how they do things.
> Presumably, this will be a local jury who each possess a drivers
> Any local juror will know that you better stay in the slow lane at
> on I-95 during the late night hours unless you want to get run over -
> just drivers compensating for the 3-5MPH speeds during rush hour!
> Further, having read thru the 197 Florida cases that Lexis spits out
> the search term "Rear-end collision" I can say with certainty that
> someone from behind is not dispositive of guilt here in Florida.
> For those inclined to actually look at such things as statutes and
> law, I would suggest that the case, _Eppler v. Tarmac Am._
> No. SC91066 , SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA, 752 So. 2d 592; 2000 Fla.
> 90; 25 Fla. L. Weekly S 133, February 17, 2000, Decided , Rehearing
> March 21, 2000. Released for Publication March 21, 2000, is a pretty
> place to start. The quote:
> Directed verdict motion properly denied; presumption of negligence
> by rear
> driver was overcome by evidence of a sudden unexpected stop by the
> driver; allegations of abrupt, arbitrary braking should have gone to
> In other words, it really doesn't matter what anyone thinks, or any
> state says - this is a Florida case, and Florida rear-end cases "go
> to the
> jury" on the issue of negligence. While there is a "presumption of
> negligence" here, as virtually everywhere else, that presumption is
> subject to
> factual rebuttal (just like everywhere else including Missouri).
> Just as I initially said, I would be having a close look at these
> folks to
> see if there is any evidence that they were out there trying to
> create an
> accident for insurance purposes.
> BTW, Anyone who believes that the rear-end doctrine in Missouri is
> dispositive in Missouri should take a few minutes to read the jury
> (MAI 17.16). The case law there, like here, is very clear that a
> jury can
> find for the defendant who hits someone from the rear if the facts
> Bill E. Branscum, Investigator
> Oracle International
> Naples, FL 34101
> (239) 304-1639 V
> (239) 304-1640 F
> (239) 641-6782 C
> _www.FraudsAndScams _ww_http://www.FraudsAnhttp://www._
> (_http://www.fraudsanhttp://www._ (http://www.fraudsandscams.com/) ) )
> In a message dated 2/6/2010 1:54:34 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
> __suesarkis@aol._su_ (mailto:_suesarkis@...) _
(mailto:_suesarkis@..._ (mailto:suesarkis@...) ) writes:
> Amy -
> Based on the fact that the road traveled was a 4 lane highway, she
> is 100%
> in the wrong. Regardless of what was happening with the defendant's
> vehicle, she had absolutely NO business being in the slow lane when
> was exceeding the speed limit and nowhere near ready to exit. She
> been in lanes 1 or 2 at that speed.
> Sincerely yours,
> ____________ ____
> Sue Sarkis
> Sarkis Detective Agency
> (est. 1976)
> PI 6564
> _www.sarkispi. __http://www.sarkispihttp:_ (http://www.sarkispi.com/) )
> 1346 Ethel Street
> Glendale, CA 91207-1826
> "one Nation under God" and "in GOD we TRUST"
> If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English,
> thank a military veteran
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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