Mr. Wheeler, an elite cyclist, was riding in a designated bicycle lane when a public bus veered right onto his path. Within seconds of colliding with the front-right corner, his momentum was pushed off the road. His path-of-travel veered into a nearby tree and crashed head-on less than two seconds later.
He survived this incident but suffered severe injuries including flail chest with twelve rib fractures on his left side, intense internal bleeding, and a serious lung infection after penetration from a rib fracture. As he went into surgery to reposition these flailing rib bones, doctors noticed the entire internal area was infected and had to delay this surgery. However, by the time the infection had resolved, the loose rib bones reattached to the rib cage improperly, constricting his lungs. Mr. Wheeler's excellent athletic stamina was permanently and severely stunted by this reduced lung capacity.
3D Forensic was contacted to determine the bus driver's visibility leading to the accident, visualize the extent of Mr. Wheeler's injuries, and show the complicated recovery process.
The team's analysis of this incident began with reverse-engineering the timing and perspectives of the bus driver and Mr. Wheeler. This required a site inspection where the team brought a similar vehicle and bicycle rider to test the bus driver's visual perspective.
By measuring the distance at which Mr. Wheeler was visible from the driver’s seat, the team showed the driver could have perceived him and avoided the accident. Though the accident happened at night, the darkness would not have impeded his vision of Mr. Wheeler.
Accident and Medical Animation
The incident was then shown from an overhead view through animation. Thanks to laser-scans of the environment, actual bus and bicycle, each element shown in the animation was based on true forensic measurements. The positions throughout the animation were verified by the case's accident reconstruction.
The latter section of the animation brought the audience face-to-face with Mr. Wheeler’s medical injuries, showing how each rib fracture led to separated bone fragments. It showed how skeletal fragments of the ribs pierced Mr. Wheeler's lungs, reflecting his doctors' opinion on the origin of the infection. It was this infection that prevented doctors from ensuring the rib healed properly, so the team showed how the bones healed in locations that constricted the lungs.
Breaking down the complexities and interactions of Mr. Wheeler's injuries was essential to demonstrating the painful, long-term damages Mr. Wheeler faced resulting from this accident. Sharp visuals and plain-language demonstrations effectively enhanced the arguments for liability and medical damages, and served as keynote visuals for legal and medical experts.
3D Forensic's analysis played a major role in the jury's final decision to side with the plaintiff. He was awarded a seven-figure result from this case.
**NOTE: Each case is affected by unique factors and requires an independent forensic approach. These case studies serve as general applications and are not universally applicable. The true identities of subjects, entities, and locations have been changed to protect anonymity.**
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"We have used Jason Fries and his team twice to create medical videos depicting complex surgeries. The videos impressed both the jury and the defense attorneys. Perhaps most helpful, Jason will work on short notice and provide a persuasive product."
Rouda, Feder, Tietjen & McGuinn