Injury Biomechanics

Discovery Questions

Basic Information

What was your height, weight and age on the day in question? Are you right or left handed?

Seat and Head Restraint

Where were you seated? Describe your seat adjustment (forward/backward), seatback angle (normal/reclined) and any damage to your seat. Describe your head restraint adjustment (up/ down) and the distance between it and the back of your head.

Body Position

How were you sitting and what were you doing at impact? Describe the position and orientation of your head, trunk, pelvis, arms and legs at impact. Were you leaning forward or twisted? Focus on injured areas.

Awareness and Bracing

Were you aware of the impact before it occurred? Did you brace for the impact? How did you brace?

Seatbelts and Airbags

Were you wearing a seatbelt? What kind of seatbelt? Was the seatbelt snug or loose? Describe how the lap and torso belts were positioned across your body. Did the airbag(s) deploy? Which airbags deployed?

Motion and Contact

Did you move during impact? What direction did you move? Did you hit anything? Consider the dash, steering wheel, windows, door panels, other occupants and cargo. What body parts struck each area?

Clothing and Distractions

What clothes were you wearing (bulky clothes may interfere with the seatbelt)? Were you wearing a hat, glasses or earphones? Were you using a cellular phone?

Injuries

For each injury, describe the onset, severity and duration of the related symptoms. Did you observe cuts, bruises, bumps, abrasions or any swelling on your body? Do you have photos of your injuries?

Medical History

Describe prior complaints, injuries, surgeries and medical conditions (focus on currently injured areas). What caused the prior injuries? Describe the intensity and duration of their symptoms.

Other Exposures

Describe your occupation. Explore work-related tasks (e.g., lifting) relevant to the injuries. Describe your hobbies/sports and the level/frequency of involvement.

Discovery Evidence

The top five sources of evidence for injury biomechanics cases:

  1. Hospital records, including operative notes, doctor’s and nurse’s notes and the ambulance report.
  2. Radiology reports – all imaging (X-ray, MRI, CT, etc.) from 5 years before the incident to the present.
  3. Medicolegal reports, IME reports and family physician notes pre and post incident.
  4. Photographs of injuries.
  5. Detailed body diagram showing location of all injuries, especially lacerations, abrasions and bruises.

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