Why Defendant's Give False Testimony About The Way An Accident Took Place

 By: J. Hernandez
It is not unusual for attorneys representing victims of motor vehicle accidents to run into a case involving 2 drivers who provide radically diverse accounts of the accident. Experience on the part of the attorney and the readiness to fully investigate the circumstances of the accident, such as personally viewing the location of the accident, can make all the difference between a successful outcome and a loss.

Check out a case involving an intersection accident. One driver was operating a truck that made a left hand turn into the intersection. The other driver was operating a car traveling straight and entering the intersection from the truck's right. The truck slammed into the car. The plaintiff claimed that he sped up just before he went into the intersection and made the yellow light before it turned red. After the accident the driver of the truck claimed that he had a green left turn signal and that the driver of the car sped into the intersection while running a red light. The way the intersection lights were programmed a yellow light for the plaintiff would have meant a red turn arrow for the defendant.

The plaintiff, a 40 year old male, suffered multiple injuries in the accident including a head laceration, and several fractures to his forearm. The head injury took twenty staples to close. The forearm injury required internal fixation surgery.

The law firm that handled the matter took the right approach and conducted its own thorough investigation of the accident. By becoming familiar with the scene of the accident they uncovered that even if the victim had gone through a red light when going into the intersection the sequence of the lights was such that the next green light would have been for traffic coming from the defendant's left and the truck would have still had a steady red left turn arrow.

The law firm next took the testimony form a representative of the Department of Transportation who verified the exact sequencing and timing of the traffic lights at the intersection where the accident took place. This testimony was then combined with that of a witness to the accident who had been waiting at a red light to the defendant truck driver's left. As the witnesses' light had was still red when the accident happened, given the way the lights at the intersection where programmed, the defendant truck driver's left turn signal could not have been green when he made the left turn and struck the plaintiff.

Even with all this evidence against the story told by the defendant truck driver the seriousness of the victim's injuries, the defendant's insurance company refused to settle the lawsuit for a demand of $300,000 made the day prior to the trial. At trial the jury found that the victim was 15% responsible for the accident but that the defendant had 85% responsibility. According to the law firm that represented him, after apportioning for percentages of fault, the jury awarded allowed the plaintiff to recover $467,000.

This case shows the importance of becoming thoroughly familiar with the scene of the accident, knowing what type of facts can best serve to show the falsity of the defendant's version of the accident, and having the resources that can be used to gather that evidence. The details make all the difference in claims such as these.

The matter also provides an example of how insurance company adjusters can end up being so fixated on the insured's version of the accident that even irrefutable facts to the contrary will fail to convince them to settle the claim. This can occur even when they risk losing substantially more by going to trial than they would need to pay the plaintiff to settle the matter.

When presented with such circumstances the attorney representing the victim simply will thoroughly preparing the case for trial and recover as much as possible for the plaintiff by a jury award.
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