2891 Chestnut Hill Road
Pottstown, Pennsylvania 19465
(610) 906-3270
119 Scotts Bluff Lane
Simpsonville, South Carolina 29681
(864) 200-2711


John Doe was heading home from work. He came to a stop sign, looked both ways and then proceeded to make a left turn to the north onto a three lane roadway. After he began to enter the roadway he saw a car coming south at a relatively high rate of speed. He pressed the accelerator harder but it was too late and the southbound car struck his pick-up truck on the driver’s side. The next thing he knew he was in the hospital and was severely injured. Mr. Doe was issued a citation, by the local police, for making an illegal left turn. 

Mr. Kolmus analyzed the police report, accident site, road marks, statements and testimonies. He then used his accident reconstruction experience to conclude that the Mustang was traveling in excess of 20 mph over the speed limit and that since the roadway curved under a railroad bridge just north of the accident site John Doe could not see the approaching Mustang when he began to enter the roadway. This resulted in Mr. Doe successfully recovering damages. 
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John Doe was operating his tractor semi-trailer with an opened load of granular type material. He was entering a limited access toll highway. As he rounded a curved ramp to enter the highway, his trailer toppled to the driver’s side pulling the tractor also onto its side. This resulted in the tractor and semi-trailer lying across the highway with the trailer’s load also strewn across the highway. Clean-up costs, towing costs, repair costs, and other miscellaneous costs were charged to the owner of the tractor semi-trailer. 

After reviewing the police report, incident site, design calculations, construction plans, specifications, depositions, and statements, Mr. Kolmus found through forensic construction experience that this interchange had been reconstructed just a few years before this incident occurred. Mr. Kolmus also found that the radius of the curve on the ramp had a calculated design speed lower than the posted speed limit of the ramp. Mr. Kolmus concluded that as the tractor semi-trailer traveled around the curve at the posted speed limit the semi-trailer could become unstable and overturn because of the tightness of the curve. The insurance company recovered handsomely as a result of this investigation. 
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Mr. Smith was traveling home from class at a local college. He was traveling in the lane adjacent to the concrete median barrier and was just about across the bridge over the river. 

Also at this time, Ms. Doe was approaching the bridge in the opposite direction. She was in the left lane of a two lane approach. Ms. Doe began to move her car to the right. She contacted a car that was in the right lane. This propelled her car to the left. There was a concrete median barrier beginning at the end of the bridge that Ms. Doe was approaching. This barrier had a sloped end. When Ms. Doe’s vehicle contacted this barrier end it was ramped up to the top of the barrier. Shortly after Ms. Doe’s vehicle reached the top of the barrier; it came into contact with Mr. Smith’s car which was traveling in the opposite direction on the other side of the barrier. This contact was above the bumper and into the driver’s side occupant compartment. As a result Mr. Smith was severely injured and eventually succumbed to his injuries. 

Mr. Kolmus’ investigation revealed that the bridge deck and the incident barrier had been replaced in 1982. Over 8 years prior to the barrier and deck replacement on the incident bridge, it was documented that the sloped barrier end treatment was known to be a hazard and would cause this type accident. A report presenting these findings was prepared. This case was then settled to the plaintiff’s satisfaction. 
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Ms. Doe was going to the store at night. She left her home, drove to the shopping area in town and parked her car. The parking stalls were at a diagonal with the drive aisles. Each stall had white lines separating the stalls. 

As Ms. Doe got out of her car, she unexpectedly stepped into a pothole. As a result of this encounter, Ms. Doe fell forward on her face. 

Russell Kolmus was asked to investigate the incident site and circumstances. The traffic control and safety investigation revealed that there were multiple locations within the parking lot that had sizable holes, some filled with cold patch asphalt. Further investigation found that site inspections for potholes and degradation of the parking lot were not being performed. The lack of lighting, inadequate inspection and poor maintenance practices were reported and a favorable settlement to the plaintiff resulted. 
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It was April near Chicago. Two men John Doe and his assistant were inspecting a bridge over a shipping channel. They were using a snooper to examine the underside of the bridge. While Mr. Doe and his assistant were inspecting the underside of the bridge, a tug boat pushing a barge, approached from the opposite side of the bridge. The tug operator could not see the boom or the bucket since the bucket was up into the bridges steel structure. Mr. Doe and his assistant lowered the boom and bucket from in the bridge’s steel underside and then saw the tug boat and barge approaching. The tug Captain then also saw the bucket and threw the tugboat into reverse but it was too late. The barge made contact with the boom and bucket. This contact threw both Mr. Doe and his assistant into the channel. As a result Mr. Doe drowned. Mr. Doe’s assistant swam to safety and was subsequently hospitalized. 

After reviewing the submitted materials and visiting the incident site, Mr. Kolmus found the following. Both Mr. Doe and his assistant disconnected their safety harnesses from the bucket just prior to or during contact with the barge. This allowed the motion of the bucket from contact with the barge to vault them into the channel. Mr. Kolmus found that there was no safety lookout for the inspection team which is an item required by federal code. There was no rescue boat in the water as required by federal code. These violations reduced the liability of the tug boat company and proved valuable in negotiations.
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John Doe was returning a front end loader to a construction company’s yard using his tractor and lowboy trailer. He was traveling his normal route when he found that it was detoured. The detour took him down a parallel street and across a raised railroad track. When his trailer was beginning to cross the raised area of the track, the trailer became grounded on the roadway. Mr. Doe could not move forward or back. Using the trailer jack, Mr. Doe was attempting to place shims in the goose neck portion of the trailer when a westbound train rounded a curve in the track to the east. He continued to try and place the shims in the trailers gooseneck. The train came closer, to close to finish. Mr. Doe ran to avoid injury. The train struck the trailer in the area of the gooseneck, splitting the tractor and gooseneck from the trailer and front end loader. 

The trucking company was sued for damages to the train, track, signal system and nearby vehicles. Mr. Kolmus found that grades on the roadway were not in accordance with engineering standards and practice. The grades would cause a lowboy to ground itself on the pavement. This resulted in a settlement of the claims favorable to the trucking company. 
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At 6:30 PM on a day in September. John Doe, the operator, and his friend were traveling southbound in a small black sedan on a country roadway. Unknown to the operator, the driver’s side rear tire’s pressure was very low. As he traveled this winding roadway, he lost control of his vehicle. The vehicle veered across the roadway onto the opposite side shoulder. He cut the wheel hard to the right in an attempt to move his vehicle back onto the right side of the road. While he was fighting the vehicle, a larger white vehicle was approaching his location from the opposite direction. When Mr. Doe started to move the smaller black vehicle back to the right side of the roadway, there was contact between the two vehicles. The smaller black vehicle spun clockwise, throwing Mr. Doe from the vehicle. The white larger vehicle came to rest a short distance from the contact point. 

When the police arrived, the operator and passenger in the white vehicle had minor to moderate injuries. Mr. Doe, the operator of the small black vehicle was unconscious and lying on the side of the roadway. He was later diagnosed with moderate injuries. The passenger in the small black car was found dead. Mr. Doe was criminally charged. 

Mr. Kolmus reported the actual motion of the vehicle was opposite to the direction that the police reported and that it was traveling at least 10 mph less than the velocity contained in the Police Report. This resulted in Mr. Doe receiving a reduced sentence and not having to serve jail time.

Accident Reconstruction & Traffic Control and Safety Case Examples

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