In continuance of our series, this week we will look at variations of police/emergency personnel involvement as well as some classic drunk driver scenarios.
O) ACCIDENT WHERE POLICE ARRIVE / Filed Report = OK Case
The police report is helpful in proving what happened at the scene and you should always insist that the vehicles stay put and the police are called to the scene. Unless, of course, the police tell you to move your car or file a cold report, obviously. The mere exchanging of information at the scene is often troublesome later in a case. An independent police report will go a long ways in proving both liability and injuries.
P) ACCIDENTS WHERE POLICE ARE NOT CALLED = Bad Case
Very hard to prove what actually happened at the scene without a report. Not calling the police, makes the case much tougher to prove even if the at-fault driver is admitting liability there at the scene, it is not uncommon for that story to change once they get "lawyered up"
Q) PARAMEDICS TAKE INJURED TO HOSPITAL = Really Good Case
Many people get injured in motor vehicle accidents without knowing they are injured at the scene. However, as it relates to proving probable injury, nothing is more helpful to a case than immediate paramedic and emergency room documentation. If you are injured in an accident, then taking the ride to the E.R. in the ambulance is a good idea.
R) POLICE VIEW NO INJURIES = Not Such a Good Case
You start the case in a bit of a hole when the police document no injuries at the scene. Though it is certainly a fact that can be overcome, the case is simply better, when your police officer supports with documentation the appearance of injury at the scene. This means that open and honest communication with the officer at the scene of the accident should take place.
S) DRUNK DRIVER Leaving Bar with Empty Beer Cans in the Car = Bad Case to Sue the Bar
Surprise! When you sue the bar for negligently over-serving the drunk, the bar's lawyer will use the empties in the vehicle to prove it wasn't the bar's conduct that made the Defendant THIS drunk. They will say: "he must have drank in the car after he left our responsible tavern." Witnesses are the key to cases like these unfortunately they can often be very difficult to track down.
T) DRUNK DRIVER Leaving Bar without any Alcohol in Vehicle = Better Case to Sue Bar
The case is much cleaner when we can say, "what else other than this bar could have possibly made this man that drunk?" Thorough and early investigation is crucial in a case like this.
If you find your case meeting some of these "rules of thumb" discussed above, do not despair - please call us at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn to speak with one of our attorneys today to discuss your case.