In this personal injury case study, the occupant of a car turned off the traveled highway. He entered the access road to housing for the purpose of visiting relatives.
After approximately 50 yards of traveling, the plaintiff’s vehicle was crushed when a large Royal Palm failed in its entirety. There were eyewitnesses to the matter. The vehicle was totaled and the plaintiff suffered personal injury.
The evidence consisted of pictures taken after the accident, along with eyewitness accounts that supported the plaintiff’s assertions.
Analysis of the Facts in the Personal Injury Case
After closely studying the pictures, we presented the following facts during our expert deposition on behalf of the defendant:
- A palm tree of the size subject to this matter weighs well over one ton.
- If a palm tree of this weight and height hits a vehicle, the vehicle is stopped dead in its tracks, perhaps dragging the palm tree a couple of feet.
- However, pictures and evidence showed two debris fields, not one, which could only have occurred when a tree of this size hit a slow-moving vehicle. There was testimony that the vehicle was traveling at approximately 10 mph when the alleged incident occurred. One debris field was separated by a length of approximately 100 feet from the next debris field.
- Because we are not an accident re-constructionist, this statement was challenged and there was a probability that the opinion would not be heard in court.
- There was another anomaly associated with plaintiff’s pictures of the damaged vehicle. The subject tree was a Royal Palm; however, the tree debris in the subject vehicle was from another species of palm tree.
- Eyewitness testimony was discovered to have been produced by a relative of the plaintiff.
The matter was settled after our deposition.