Comparing Forces on an Occupant From Different Motor Vehicle Collisions

Background

An individual was involved in a relatively high-speed frontal collision two years prior to being rear-ended in a relatively low-speed collision. Subsequent to the lower-speed rear-end collision, the individual was diagnosed with intervertebral disc herniations in both the cervical and lumbar spines. Explico’s Steve Rundell was retained to compare the forces experienced by the occupant in the two crashes. Specifically, Dr. Rundell was asked to determine which event resulted in the greater likelihood for injury.

Process

Dr. Rundell performed thorough collision reconstruction analyses to determine the speeds and collision forces associated with each event. Then, numerical simulations were performed to determine both the motions and forces acting on the individual in both crash scenarios. These data were used to develop fully physics-based visualizations of each scenario. Additionally, the forces from each event were compared side-by-side and indicated that the initial, higher-speed, frontal collision generated forces more consistent with the alleged injuries.

Results

Dr. Rundell prepared and provided a presentation for trial, but the case settled. Explico’s clients were able to use the results of the analysis and compelling visualizations to reach a favorable settlement.

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