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  • Jurydoctor@aol.com
    This case involves an accident on 4/6/07 at 2:41am on SR 56 in the southern state. At that time, my Dana was driving east when a semi-tractor trailer (heading
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 28, 2010
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      This case involves an accident on 4/6/07 at 2:41am on SR 56 in the southern state. At that time, my Dana was driving east when a semi-tractor trailer (heading west) made a u-turn in front of her. The police report says that Dana was going 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. There was minimal braking before the impact and the crash was almost like an “explosion.” Dana had 32 broken bones and has undergone 7 major surgeries. At the request of the FHP trooper, blood was drawn from her at the hospital. Her BAC was .086% which is slightly over the legal limit.

      Here is what I need feedback on:


      The Defendant truck driver said in his deposition that he had never been told that making u-turns in a tractor-trailer was dangerous. In his personnel file we discovered that, 2 years before this accident, his employer had him sign a form stating that he knew that u-turns were dangerous and promising never to do one.

      .


      Does this matter to you? why or why not?

      It does matter because it shows he knew it was dangerous. He also knew this from common sense

      2. Dana was under age (almost 20 at the time of the accident) and had used a fake ID to get drinks at a bar.

      What do you think?
      This counts against her.
      There is an issue as to whether Dana was wearing her seatbelt. The investigating officer said she was - the defense expert will say she wasn’t. She has no memory but says she always wears it. Her airbag did deploy.

      What do you think? also if the airbag deployed does it matter?

      I think the officer checked and she was. I don't think that the airbag deploying matters







      3. The tractor-trailer was at an angle (ie. not perpendicular) across the roadway. This might help explain why Dana didn’t see it until the last second. It had reflective tape on the side, but not as much as is required. The passenger in Dana’s front seat - who was totally sober – said he could not see the truck until right before the impact. It was very dark out and this area is semi- rural without much street lighting.

      What do you think about this issue?

      I think that the truck should have had more reflective tape on the side.




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    • Jurydoctor@aol.com
      Amy, But for the u-turn, this incident would not have happened. What training did truck driver have regarding u-turns: company, CDL, etc. How prominent was
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 28, 2010
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        Amy,

        But for the u-turn, this incident would not have happened. What training did truck driver have regarding u-turns: company, CDL, etc. How prominent was u-turn in document signed – single document with this single issue or multiple pages with many such issues? Did truck driver note oncoming vehicle but misjudged speed? What was traffic: was she the only oncoming vehicle and should have waited? Why did he make the U-turn?

        If passenger can be believed, technically driver’s DUI status would not have made a difference. Was passenger attentive to the roadway as he would have been had he been driving? Why wasn’t he driving? If there is no good reason, this will have an effect on the jury: driver had choices and made a poor choice (interpreted as her own fault). Being underage with a fake ID and DUI will be a hard issue to overcome. At best it will seriously affect amount of compensation, may even result in a defense verdict, even though truck driver definitely is at fault.

        Angle or not, trailer’s are hard to perceive, particularly with minimal lighting – retro reflective markings. I’ve had cases where the trailer is perpendicular to the traffic lane wherein the driver, not DUI, has impacted the trailer. It’s matter of being able to make sense of the lights/retroreflective reflections, particularly when they are not expected and the surroundings have been masked by darkness.







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