Hayes+Associates Analysis Plays Key Role in Jury’s Defense Verdict for Low-Speed/Rear-Impact Collision Case


Biomechanical analysis of a 2014 Low Speed/Rear-Impact collision by a team at Hayes+Associates, Inc., demonstrated that every-day activities routinely subject the head, neck, and low back to greater loading than the forces exerted in an Oregon couple’s collision.

Plaintiffs argued that their alleged injuries were made even worse by their prior medical histories of arthritis and surgical fusions.  They sought $1.4 million in damages.

H+A Senior Associate, Erik D. Power, P.E., and CEO Wilson C. “Toby” Hayes, PhD, first used the fundamental laws of physics to confirm the minor nature of the collision between the involved vehicles, special software to visualize the motions and forces sustained by the two occupants, and a review of medical records and x-rays to show that the conditions claimed by the patients were the consequence of age and arthritis and not the result of the minor collision in question.

The jury found for the defense, indicating that the plaintiffs had not proved their case as a matter of law and had failed to present credible testimony on key elements of their claim. The trial team for the defense was Edward L. Sears for American Family Insurance, Portland, OR, and Ralph Spooner from Spooner & Much, P.C., in Salem.

Hayes+Associates, Inc. (http://www.hayesassoc.com) is an expert witness and consulting firm, based in Corvallis, OR.  The company brings more than 75 years of collective experience in academic research, university teaching, and forensic testimony to practice areas that include vehicle collisions, premises safety, slips and falls, products liability, worker safety, sports and recreation, patent litigation and criminal matters.