$300,000 Jury Award For Victim Substantial Hurt In SUV Accident

 By: J. Hernandez
When litigating a motor vehicle accident case, it can sometimes be very important to be able to demonstrate that the defendant's story is not truthful. In certain cases all a lawyer has to do so as to show this is to establish that the defendant lied or told an account that was false in some part. This is oftentimes enough to cause doubt on the defendant's entire story. Establish that one part of the defendant's story is made up and a jury could in fact discount everything else the defendant says. The key many times lies in the way people distort facts. Many times, if people are telling a lie, they try too hard to make the story appear consistent. One way they do that is by making up too many details - the kinds of details people would realistically probably not recall.

Take into account, for example, a claim 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. According to the victim, she had entered the intersection only after having stoped at the stop sign controlling the intersection. However 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. Without witnesses it would usually come down to whether a jury would believe the driver or the bicyclist. But the driver went further. The driver also claimed that was difficult to see the plaintiff since she had on dark clothes, and was riding a bicycle without proper illumination.

The impact threw the bicyclist onto the pavement where she landed on and injured her knee. She ultimately needed arthroscopic surgery on the knee.

Two very important things were done right in this matter. First, after the accident the fire department spotted 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 spoke with a member of the fire department to testify at the trial of the case. As a result the jury took just an hour to deliberate and came back with a finding in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of three hundred thousand dollars.

This lawsuit presented an instance in which the lack of witnesses to the accident might have prevented the bicyclist victim from getting compensation for her injuries. It is impossible to say what motivates an individual to distort the facts or even plain lie about the way an accident took place. There was nothing in the documentation of this claim to suggest that there was not enough insurance and that the defendant was concerned that the victim would go after his personal assets. Presumably, the defendant understood the extent of the injury the bicyclist victim suffered due to the accident. Yet, 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) would in all likelihood have stopped the bicyclist victim from being compensated for her injury.
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