$300,000 Jury Award For Bicyclist Significant Injured In SUV Accident

 By: J. Hernandez
Experienced lawyers understand that being able to show someone was wrong or lied concerning one aspect of their story is ofttimes sufficient to be able to refute their whole story. Show that one portion of the defendant's story is not truthful and a jury may in fact disbelieve everything else the defendant says. One method that may be useful is to look for too many details. People who are lying far too often do not keep the story simple. They embellish it in an attempt to make it seem believable.

Consider, for instance, a case that involved a motor vehicle accident which happened in a four way intersection. A driver in an SUV entered the intersection and struck a woman who was already in the intersection riding a bicycle. There were no bystanders in the area who saw the accident. The bicyclist claimed that she had stopped at the stop sign prior to entering the intersection. But according to the defendant, it was the bicyclist who was responsible for the accident by entering the intersection without yielding the right of way. This would have been a simple, clean story. There would have been no way to rebut it and it would simply be a matter of who was more credible - the driver or the bicyclist. But the driver went further. The defendant also claimed that the bicyclist was hard to see since she had on dark clothes, and was riding a bicycle without proper illumination.

The victim was thrown onto the pavement with so much force that she suffered a severe injury to her knee. Because of this injury she had to have arthroscopic surgery.

Two critical things were done right in this matter. First, after the accident the fire department discovered a dislodged bicycle light at the location where the accident occurred. Second, the law firm that handled the case on behalf of the victim uncovered this information and called a member of the fire department to testify at the trial of the case. With this information the jury took only 1 hour to find for the bicyclist. The jury awarded her $300,000.

This case presented an instance in which the lack of witnesses to the accident could have prevented the bicyclist victim from getting compensation for her injuries. There is obviously no way for us to look inside the mind of a defendant to understand why he or she would distort the facts or even plain lie about the way an accident took place. Presumably, the defendant had sufficient insurance to pay for the victim's claim. There was nothing in the report of this case to suggest that the defendnat was unaware of the extent of the injury the bicyclist victim suffered as a result of the accident. However, if not for the testimony of the fire department member, the defendant's statements about the circumstances of the accident (which the jury plainly did not believe) might in all likelihood have blocked the plaintiff from recovering for her injury.
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