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  1. #61
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    Default Re: What Are My Chances of Winning a Lawsuit in This Case

    Quote Quoting Hemispheres
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    Just quoting so the thread gets updated instead of just adding to my previous post.

    The driver who hit me got found Not Guilty yesterday. I stood outside the courtroom for 2 hours and was not allowed to go in nor was I allowed to testify against him like I was asked to do. The other witness never showed up either.
    While it's a bit surprising the prosecutor did not call you to testify against the guy it's also a bit hard to comment about that much since you did not say what happened in the trial or why he won acquittal. It could be, for example, something occurred to end the trial before the prosecutor got a chance to call you. In any event, it is not a surprise that you weren't allowed to go in to watch the trial. It is pretty common that potential witnesses in the case are excluded from the courtroom so that their testimony will not be affected by the testimony of other witnesses in the case. For example, the idea is to prevent witness Amy from altering her testimony based on what witness Officer Bob says.

    Quote Quoting Hemispheres
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    The only good news is my personal defense lawyer said it doesn't affect them in any way and they're still going to go after the insurance company.
    Your lawyer is correct that the verdict in this criminal/infraction case does not adversely affect your personal injury case. However, it is important to know what testimony various witnesses (if there were any) gave in that trial as that could be significant in planning the civil case. As an aside, your lawyer is obviously not your "defense lawyer" as you are not the defendant in the civil case. You are the plaintiff.

  2. #62
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    Default Re: What Are My Chances of Winning a Lawsuit in This Case

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    While it's a bit surprising the prosecutor did not call you to testify against the guy it's also a bit hard to comment about that much since you did not say what happened in the trial or why he won acquittal. It could be, for example, something occurred to end the trial before the prosecutor got a chance to call you. In any event, it is not a surprise that you weren't allowed to go in to watch the trial. It is pretty common that potential witnesses in the case are excluded from the courtroom so that their testimony will not be affected by the testimony of other witnesses in the case. For example, the idea is to prevent witness Amy from altering her testimony based on what witness Officer Bob says.

    Your lawyer is correct that the verdict in this criminal/infraction case does not adversely affect your personal injury case. However, it is important to know what testimony various witnesses (if there were any) gave in that trial as that could be significant in planning the civil case. As an aside, your lawyer is obviously not your "defense lawyer" as you are not the defendant in the civil case. You are the plaintiff.
    But a plaintiff's lawyer will act like a defense lawyer when the actual defense lawyer attacks the plaintiff.

    Defense lawyers do not only defend...they attack like pit bulls.

  3. #63

    Default Re: What Are My Chances of Winning a Lawsuit in This Case

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Thanks for checking back in with us, this is a very interesting case.

    I am taking that you/he were in traffic court and that he was found not guilty of his traffic citation? If so:
    Who told you that you could not go inside the courtroom and watch his trial?
    Was your lawyer present?
    Did anyone explain to you how he won?
    Were you asked to be there? IF so, by whom?
    Do you know what traffic violation he was charged with?

    The good news is that a person does not have to be found guilty of a traffic violation to be found at fault of injuring someone.
    The bailiff would not let me in the courtroom. He kept telling me witnesses wait outside. The not if sure if the responding officer was made aware that his witness was there to testify. And yes I was a
    Subpeanoed to testify.

    My lawyer was not present as personal injury lawyers don't deal with traffic or criminal cases. The old man won because there was little evidence against him aside from the officers assessment of the accident scene. If I would have been allowed to testify Im positive he would have been convicted.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: What Are My Chances of Winning a Lawsuit in This Case

    Quote Quoting Hemispheres
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    The bailiff would not let me in the courtroom. He kept telling me witnesses wait outside. The not if sure if the responding officer was made aware that his witness was there to testify. And yes I was a Subpeanoed to testify.
    As I said before, it is very common that witnesses are not allowed in the courtroom to watch the trial prior to testifying. It would have been up to the prosecuting attorney or officer prosecuting the case to make the decision whether to call you as a witness. It may be, though, that some snafu at the courthouse left the prosecutor/officer not knowing that you were there to testify.

    Quote Quoting Hemispheres
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    If I would have been allowed to testify Im positive he would have been convicted.
    That may well have made a difference. The officer didn't see the accident so he would be limited in what he could say about it.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: What Are My Chances of Winning a Lawsuit in This Case

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    As I said before, it is very common that witnesses are not allowed in the courtroom to watch the trial prior to testifying. It would have been up to the prosecuting attorney or officer prosecuting the case to make the decision whether to call you as a witness. It may be, though, that some snafu at the courthouse left the prosecutor/officer not knowing that you were there to testify.

    That may well have made a difference. The officer didn't see the accident so he would be limited in what he could say about it.
    Another factor could be something that most do not like to discuss here - that there are good lawyers and junior lawyers. One could assume that a lawyer who prosecutes traffic citations is not very high up on the prosecutor list and might easily be beaten by a more skilled lawyer. I once hired a lawyer to fight a traffic ticket and he basically intimidated/threatened the prosecutor to drop the charges. And he did.

    TM,
    Could the old guy's defense attorney disqualify the OP as a biased witness who has no formal training in enforcing and judging traffic laws? The OP even has a case so to speak against the old guy. Couldn't that be used as a disqualifier too?

  6. #66
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    Default Re: What Are My Chances of Winning a Lawsuit in This Case

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Another factor could be something that most do not like to discuss here - that there are good lawyers and junior lawyers.
    Certainly the level of skill varies from one attorney to the next. And depending on the exact charges against the defendant and where in Viriginia this took place there may not have been a prosecuting attorney at all. Traffic infraction cases in some courts in Virginia are prosecuted by the cop or there may be no prosecutor at all, though the latter is obviously not the case here as the OP was given a subpoena to appear.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    One could assume that a lawyer who prosecutes traffic citations is not very high up on the prosecutor list and might easily be beaten by a more skilled lawyer.
    That isn't an assumption I would make. You can have very experienced prosecutors in traffic cases. Particularly in small communities the prosecutors may handle all the types of cases that come in, from traffic cases to homicides.

    Quote Quoting Harold99
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    Could the old guy's defense attorney disqualify the OP as a biased witness who has no formal training in enforcing and judging traffic laws? The OP even has a case so to speak against the old guy. Couldn't that be used as a disqualifier too?
    No. He would be called as a fact witness — i.e. to testify as to what he saw, heard and did at the time of the accident. As a participant in the accident he is competent as a fact witness because he has first hand knowledge of what occurred. To the extent that he might have some bias the defense attorney could bring that out in cross examination. But that's not a reason that would keep him from testifying. I think it most likely that either the prosecutor/cop prosecuting the case was not informed the OP was there or something happened in that trial to end it before the OP could be called to testify.

  7. #67

    Default Re: What Are My Chances of Winning a Lawsuit in This Case

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Your lawyer is correct that the verdict in this criminal/infraction case does not adversely affect your personal injury case. However, it is important to know what testimony various witnesses (if there were any) gave in that trial as that could be significant in planning the civil case. As an aside, your lawyer is obviously not your "defense lawyer" as you are not the defendant in the civil case. You are the plaintiff.
    Well there will most likely be no civil case. When you get a settlement from the insurance company they make you sign a waver giving up your right to sue.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: What Are My Chances of Winning a Lawsuit in This Case

    Quote Quoting Hemispheres
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    Well there will most likely be no civil case. When you get a settlement from the insurance company they make you sign a waver giving up your right to sue.
    Correct, if you reach a settlement with the guy's insurance company prior to filing suit the terms of the settlement will preclude you from filing a lawsuit against him. And if you settle after the lawsuit then the the settlement will end that lawsuit. Settlement is by far the most common resolution of these sorts of claims. If you can get a good settlement prior to filing the lawsuit, great. Sometimes though you need to file the lawsuit to prod the insurance company to come up with a worthwhile offer.

  9. #69

    Default Re: What Are My Chances of Winning a Lawsuit in This Case

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Correct, if you reach a settlement with the guy's insurance company prior to filing suit the terms of the settlement will preclude you from filing a lawsuit against him. And if you settle after the lawsuit then the the settlement will end that lawsuit. Settlement is by far the most common resolution of these sorts of claims. If you can get a good settlement prior to filing the lawsuit, great. Sometimes though you need to file the lawsuit to prod the insurance company to come up with a worthwhile offer.
    My lawyer will sue the insurance company if they cheap out. He's not afraid to, he's actually on the list of 100 best national trial lawyers.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: What Are My Chances of Winning a Lawsuit in This Case

    Quote Quoting Hemispheres
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    My lawyer will sue the insurance company if they cheap out. He's not afraid to, he's actually on the list of 100 best national trial lawyers.
    No, he won't. He might sue the guy who caused the accident, but he's not going to sue the insurance company.

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