Even with video showing the crash, a court may find that there are issues of fact concerning fault allocation surrounding a car accident.
In Trammell v. Peoples, No. M2016-02198-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 11, 2017), plaintiffs were involved in a car accident with defendant. Defendant was driving a box truck “in the course and scope of his employment,” and the truck was equipped with a camera on the dash. The camera recorded twelve seconds, including the eight seconds before the crash and the four seconds after. The video showed defendant “traveling at a speed of approximately 60 miles per hour in a middle lane while passing a construction scene monitored by police vehicles immediately to the right.” Plaintiffs were shown traveling ahead of defendant in the far left lane. “In the four seconds before impact, [plaintiff driver] initiates his turn signal and begins to merge into [defendant’s] lane. Unable to slow in time, [defendant’s] truck collides with the vehicle operated by [plaintiff], causing it to spin.”
Plaintiffs filed this negligence suit alleging that defendant’s failure to keep his truck “under proper and reasonable control” was the cause of the accident. Defendants (the driver and his employer) filed a motion for summary judgment, relying on the video to show that plaintiff “was more than 50 percent at fault and that [defendant] acted as a reasonably prudent person would have under the circumstances…” In a deposition, defendant driver testified that plaintiff “swerved his vehicle into my lane of traffic directly in front of the box truck that I was driving causing my truck to collide with the read end of [plaintiffs’] vehicle,” and that there were no signs as he approached the construction on the side of the road indicating a speed limit of less than 65 miles per hour.