Disproving a Self Serving Story
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. 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.
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.
After a two day trial, Josh was able to disprove all of the plaintiff’s claims and received a defense verdict for his client.