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Reconstruction Animation and Enhanced Surveillance Footage Show Plaintiff’s Liability for Accident

It was a clear, sunny morning along US Highway 45 in Columbus, Mississippi. A woman traveled southbound in her GMC SUV at 60 miles per hour. As she continued, roadwork signs warned motorists of an approaching construction zone where city-contracted workers removed trees and vegetation. Despite this, the woman failed to slow down and proceed with caution. Simultaneously, the operator of a large forestry mulcher was carefully and slowly crossing the highway to continue his work. As the operator noticed the woman heading towards him with no signs of stopping, he attempted to reverse out of the way, but it was too late. The woman’s Yukon crashed into the front end of the mulcher, ripping her door off completely and significantly injuring them both.

Highway patrol officers recorded the operator’s statement at the scene of the accident. However, the man sustained a head injury and had difficulty recalling which lane the accident occurred in. He stated he was coming out of the median strip and entered the far-left lane when the woman struck him.

The woman was taken to a local hospital. When officers requested a statement, she asserted she was traveling at a safe speed in the far-left lane, and the mulcher cut into her path unexpectedly.

The vegetation management company engaged Jay Atkins of McAngus Goudelock & Courie, an insurance defense attorney with 20 years of experience. Jay knew a potential jury would need to assign his client a percentage of liability because the operator did not wait for a vehicle to escort him across safely. Jay’s goal was to minimize his client’s harm and degree of fault. He recovered surveillance footage of the crash from two surrounding businesses and retained an accident reconstructionist to examine the SUV’s event data recorder. 

The surveillance footage captured a version of the event that contradicted both the woman and Defendant’s testimony. The woman was traveling in the far-right lane — not the left — when the collision occurred. Additionally, Jay’s accident reconstructionist discovered the woman did not brake nor take any evasive action before the crash. Consequently, Jay appointed DK Global to strategize with his expert and reconstruct the collision to bring the truth and evidence to light.

The presentation began with the surveillance footage enhanced with color-coded lanes, clearly showing the woman and Defendant’s position. Next, the woman was shown driving in the right lane, with no obstructions in front of her to impede her line of sight. Meanwhile, the mulcher cautiously moved across the highway. A timer counted down the distance until impact, revealing the woman had ample time to adjust her path and avoid the collision. Then, using the event data recorder’s information, the crash was reconstructed from the woman’s point of view, showing she made no attempts to slow down even with the mulcher in plain sight.

With a DK Global presentation depicting the truth, Jay attended a mediation with the Plaintiff’s counsel and offered a favorable amount to settle the case, saving valuable time and resources.

For 20 years, Jay Atkins of McAngus Goudelock & Courie has focused on defending his clients in construction litigation, products liability, and transportation law. He has earned the Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Rating of “AV Preeminent” and was recognized as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star.” Outside of the courtroom, Jay routinely presents at legal seminars, sharing his valuable expertise and trial tactics.

"The money that we saved in resolving the case because of DK Global far outweighed the amount of money that we spent to get the video."
Jay Atkins - McAngus Goudelock & Courie, LLC
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