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Help me figure this out please

  1. Jan 19, 2005 #1
    Help me figure this out please!!!

    To make a long story short... I have a court case where I'm being sued for loaning a 4 wheeler to a friend which struck someone standing in the road. The plaintiff's lawyer said that the plaintiff was thrown 30 feet (which I know isn't right). I'm not the best at math but here's what I need to figure out...

    General information...

    ATV = 350 lbs
    Driver = 165 lbs
    Plaintiff (person struck) = 200 lbs
    ATV Mph = 25 mph

    What I need to know is the possible distance the plaintiff could have traveled?

    What is your formula for figuring out the problem?

    Any other informaton needed, just let me know!
    Any replies would be greatly appreciated!

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2005 #2


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    First, the attorney may claim whatever he or she wishes but an attorney's statements do not constitute evidence.

    Second, in order to be projected 30 feet horizontally all that is required is an initial speed of about 30 feet per second for the "projectile." Given that the mass of the ATV plus passenger is more than double that of the "projectile" and that the ATV is initially moving at about 16 feet per second it is entirely possible that the projectile acquired a launch speed exceeding 30 feet per second.

    Third, I don't think the judge will be impressed with allegedly exact figures. Since you are being sued rather than your friend I would infer that your friend is a minor and the speed of 25 mph may be suspect unless there is a definite mechanical constraint that prevents your vehicle from attaining speeds greater than that. More convincing would be a known point of impact and a known point of landing in which case guesses of what the speed was become moot.

    Is there a real dispute over whether the person was struck or thrown ANY distance and whether harm was done?
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2005
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