Only in T-ball do you get 4 strikes. But over and over again I see Defendants (and their insurance companies) try to avoid responsibility for causing car wrecks and bike crashes. Here are four common areas of denial and strategies for making sure the “at fault” party is held responsible.
- Negligent driver says it’s their fault at the scene – Call the police and get witness information, so that they cannot change their story later.
- Negligent Driver gets a ticket – just because someone gets a ticket DOES NOT mean they are automatically found guilty. Haven’t you known someone who got a ticket but did not get any points or have to pay a fine ? Get the Police Report. Check it for errors, so that the Defendant does not “walk” due to some technicality or simple mistake. And make sure you find outw when the traffic court hearing is scheduled.
- Negligent Driver goes to fight the ticket in traffic court – but if there is no court reporter, there will be no transcript. It is worht the expense in a case of any seriousness to have a Court Reporter there. That way, the Defendant, the police officer and any witness’s statements on the record will be preserved. If the Defendant pleads guilty, they will have a hard time welching later on in your civil trial.
- Their insurance company pays for the property damage to your car, truck, motorcycle or bike. Or the Defendant Driver’s employer or insurance company pays your insurance company for the property damage.
We have seen cases where the Defendant Driver:
- Admits fault at the scene of the crash;
- Gets a ticket charging them with causing the crash;
- Pleads guilty in Traffic Court and does NOT appeal the conviction; and,
- Their insurance company pays for the property damage,
and yet their insurance company will then:
- Deny full responsibility;
- Hire defense counsel;
- Fight for years in court;
- Send the innocent Plaintiff to be examined by a doctor of their choosing, interrogate them at lengthy depositions under oath, send subpoenas for their medical, employment and personnel records, and question every aspect of their injuries;
- Deny, obfuscate and delay;and,
- At, or just before Trial, admit liability.
By taking steps 1-4 above, and you will increase your ability to win the case on liability so that you can spend your time and resources on submitting the damages sustained to the jury.