When a person becomes aware of a dangerous situation, a time-interval must elapse before he can take defensive action against it. This time interval, commonly called the reaction time, has been found to be about 0.7 second for all normal persons, regardless of their background and training. This suggests that the reaction time depends on some basic aspect of the human physiology-involving the brain, nervous system, and muscles-which does not vary much from person to person.
A car is stopped for a light when it is unexpectedly rear-ended by a vehicle from behind. It is not a hard impact and there is little or no damage to either vehicle, because the energy absorbing bumpers have protected them. Nevertheless, the passengers of the struck vehicle complain of neck, shoulder and back pain. The next day they allegedly experience even greater pain and visit a medical person who claims that they have been injured. Insurance claim representatives, attorneys, medical, engineering and biomedical experts are then brought in and various conflicting allegations, testimony and opinions are expressed. Do we have a legitimate injury claim on our hands or a situation of fraud?
It was a dark and lonely night – as your client, a middle aged man, drove along an unfamiliar country road, watching out for deer that often jump out in front of cars at that time of year. Soon after the road curved to the right he realized that a disabled car with no lights on was angled across the road in front of him.
Back in graduate school, the Psychology Department chair at MIT liked to tell his classes about the three Laws of Nature: the Law of Falling Bricks, the Law of Falling Cats, and the Law of Falling People. Physicists have formulated the precise laws that describe how a brick falls from a table to the floor. Biologists have discovered how cats fall differently from bricks, twisting reflexively to always land on their feet. But what laws completely describe a person falling from a roof? This is the challenge of behavioral scientists.
To err is human; to design is divine. Forensic Human Factors specialists help lawyers analyze the root cause of an accident by determining who erred and why. Human factors applies research from a number of fields to design and evaluate things that people use in work and everyday activities
In civil cases where emotional distress is alleged, it often occurs that the plaintiff’s attorney designates the treater as his expert. Usually the argument is that the plaintiff’s own therapist has spent many more hours with the plaintiff than the defense expert and therefore "knows" the plaintiff better. The treater often agrees with this reasoning
Advancements in medical instrumentation are often judged on technical factors such as increased accuracy or increased capabilities without regard to the operator, or to the degree of knowledge or training required to make the instrument perform all of the advanced functions for which it was designed. Because patient safety and efficient use of an instrument are ultimately determined by the operator, it is imperative that medical instruments be designed not only with capability and functionality in mind
Event Data Recorders (EDRs) are electronic devices, commonly called Black Boxes, that are installed in motor vehicles. EDRs have the ability to record information about what a vehicle did before, during and immediately after a traffic crash
While the information recorded on event data recorders (EDRs), commonly referred to as vehicle black boxes, is tremendously helpful in determining how a traffic accident occurred and in improving safety, it was not until recently that EDR data was legally challenged in Illinois and ultimately accepted