SUCCESS STORY

Disproving a Self Serving Story

SFE Attorney: Joshua P. Hayward

Defense Expert: Michael Alex – Accident Reconstructionist

Plaintiff Attorney: Dylan Lawrence

City, County, State: Linn County Circuit Court, Oregon

Claims Alleged: Personal Injury

Injuries Alleged: Multiple fractures

Admitted Liability: No

Amount Claimed: Damages not at issue

Brief Overview

Smith Freed Eberhard partner, Josh Hayward represented the defendant in a case involving the collision of a motorcycle, driven by the plaintiff, and an SUV, driven by the defendant. Josh was able to obtain a full defense verdict for his client.

The Background

The defendant was driving home on a two-lane scenic roadway that winds along portions of the Willamette river. Traveling some distance behind the defendant was the plaintiff and other members of his motorcycle club. The defendant approached her driveway on the left and believes she activated her left turn signal prior to pulling in. Her driveway was very short, requiring her to come to a nearly complete stop and make a wide left turn. As the defendant slowed down, the lead motorcyclist went to pass her on her left. He apparently thought that the defendant was stopping or that she was pulling off to the right to allow him to pass even though he claimed that she had not activated her left or right turn signal. The plaintiff, who was traveling at a speed of at least 40 mph, hit his brakes and skidded for approximately 100 feet, then struck the front driver’s side of the defendant’s vehicle, causing the plaintiff to be thrown off of his motorcycle.

The plaintiff suffered severe injuries and had medical expenses totaling around $132,000 dollars. He also claimed lost wages and property damages exceeding $10,000. The plaintiff filed suit against the defendant alleging that she was 100% liable for the accident based on various allegations that changed throughout the course of the case.

Plaintiffs Theme

One of plaintiff’s main contentions was that the defendant did not initiate her turn signal. Plaintiff attempted to use this to prove his passing maneuver was not unreasonable and that defendant was fully at fault for his resulting injuries. Using multiple witnesses from the group of motorcycle riders with plaintiff at the time of the accident, plaintiff seemed to have somewhat of a basis for the missing blinker allegation. Plaintiff also sought to prove defendant had further indicated her intention to pull to the right of the road (to let plaintiff pass) by alleging she veered to the right past the fog lines before making the left turn. Little did he know, plaintiff’s own expert and multiple police officers would disprove these claims.  

Our Strategy

After a thorough investigation, josh was able to disprove many of the plaintiff’s allegations. One of the motorcyclists in the plaintiff’s group claimed that the defendant was on the phone at the time of the incident, which josh disproved by obtaining his client’s cell phone records showing that she was not on the phone at the time of the incident. The plaintiff and all of the motorcyclists in the group also alleged that the defendant did not activate her left-turn signal.

Josh countered this allegation through circumstantial evidence by soliciting testimony from the police officers who were dispatched. Both officers stated that the defendant’s turn signal was still on when they arrived at the scene. The testimony was contrary to one of the rider’s claim that he saw the defendant activate her turn signal after the officers arrived. The plaintiff also claimed that the defendant pulled her vehicle completely off of the roadway to the right of the fog line before she began her left hand turn. On cross examination, the plaintiff’s own expert witness agreed that this claim was false.

The Outcome

Thanks to josh’s persistence and investigation, after a two day trial, josh was able to disprove all of plaintiff’s claims and received a defense verdict for his client.

Read More
, , , The Strategy in Jury Selection: Using Voir Dire to the Defendant’s Advantage Tuesday August 11, 2020 By: Jessica Kamish
Securing Victory Under Securities Laws Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
, Research Pays Off (to the Tune of $2.2 Million) Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Drawing the (Property) Line Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Multi-National Retailer’s Discrimination Mitigated Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Allegations of Misappropriation of Trade Secrets and Employment Law Violations? Denied. Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
, , Rejected: A Desperate Attempt to Recover Expenses Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
, , An $18,000,000 Dismissal Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
, , The Early Bird Gets the Case Dismissed Friday December 20, 2019 By: Josh Hayward
Safe Harbor Letter , Preparation Always Pays off: Especially at Trial Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
, , The Case of the Mysterious Torn Medial Meniscus Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
, Hit and Run Dismissed Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
, Admitting Liability and Saving Costs Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Moreau v. Samalin , A Swift and Speedy Settlement Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
, Know Your Venue: Taking Advantage of Arbitration Rules to Gain the Upper Hand and Mitigate Costs Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
, , Pre-Existing Conditions Affirmed, No Additional Recovery Earned Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Let’s talk

Tell us about your legal challenge.
Then we’ll tell you how we can help.