I was summoned to the State Court as a defendant for a car accident that happened 4 years ago. I was side swiped by a van that overtook me.
It is ridiculous that the van wants to pursuit the matter, wanting to claim $5000 (anyway, never be scared by lawyers letters), when the video shows that I am more of the victim.
As my lawyer (from my car insurance) said:
You cannot stop someone from suing you.
So let’s settle in the State Courts
This is my first time going to a court, on a real trial.
My 2 hours spent is actually fun and interesting, like a school excursion.
Every thing is just like how you see in drama, with:
- The judge, whom you do address as Your Honour
- Plaintiff’s lawyer
- Plaintiff’s witness (van driver)
- Defendant’s lawyer
- Defendant’s witness (me)
- An admin
Just six of us. No one came to watch 😂
The plaintiff first
There is a strict order of the proceedings.
The van driver goes first to be cross-examined by my lawyer. I would say he was grilled by my lawyer for full 30 minutes.
It started with minor accusations of his character.
The highway code requires you to be more than 1 car’s length away. Do you agree you are less than 1 car’s length away, as per the video?
As the trial proceeds, the van driver got defensive and threw in some assumptions in his answers, in which my lawyer grilled harder.
I am not asking you about the bus. Just answer this: is your van speed faster than the car at this point in time?
You are not answering my question. (repeat the question..) Do you agree or disagree?
The video evidence is to his disadvantage, so his truthful answers mostly score points for my team. When he continues to disagree, he wasn’t convincing.
I kind of pity him.
To be fair, he is a salaryman employed by the company, and it wasn’t him who wants to go to court.
The plaintiff re-examination
After my lawyer’s grilling, the plaintiff gets a chance to re-examine the van driver.
Oh, there’s more drama.
At one point, the lawyer is trying to lead the van driver to say something, but the van driver could not get it – “the correct answer” – and so the lawyer rephrase and give him a multiple choice question.
With that my lawyer said:
Objection. Leading question.
The judge sent the witness out of the room (so as not to affect him), then told the lawyer he has to rephrase the question better.
The lawyer still failed to get the answer he wants.
He probably want the van driver to say something along this line: I have checked that there is enough space, and so I decided to overtake the car.
Preparation is important. I have the advantage to observe for 30 minutes.
My turn to shine
I could be bragging. But I think I did an excellent job. lol perhaps I should switch career.
I took the oath with confidence, and I answered every question with grace and clarity.
I think I make the lawyer tongue tied, and he gave up after 10 minutes.
How good am I?
Lawyer asked: Would you agree the cars are parallel in the 10-11 sec of the video?
Me: If by parallel, you mean perfectly side by side, then I would say we are at the 11th second. But in the 10th second, my car is at least half a car’s length ahead.”
The video is clear and I simply articulate the fact better.
Lawyer: Do you agree that contact is made at the 10-11 sec?
I understood the point he is accusing me of and so I countered.
I disagree. If you turn to page 42, you will see I have a scratch mark from near the back tyre all the way to my side mirror. I cannot be sure, but it is much more likely that the contact is made earlier at the 10th second, where my car is still ahead of the van.”
Even Your Honour has to flip to the page I mentioned 🤪
The lawyer also asked a stupid question:
Lawyer asked: When you see the bus in your left lane, in order to avoid crashing into the bus, do you agree that you have to filter back to the right?
Me: (a small sarcastic laughter) Of course not! I can brake! And that is my first reaction upon seeing the bus cutting out to my lane. To maintain a safe distance.
I am subtly hinting I am a safe driver.
I was in control and the lawyer ended on this rather bad point.
My lawyer didn’t even need to re-examine me.
Yet, the plaintiff’s lawyer continue to insist I swerved and caused the accident.
He is paid to win, so no matter how bad, he has to insist he is right. That’s life. 😪
The judge did not give the verdict right away, but asked the lawyers to be back a few days later.
So much time and resources for a minor car accident! That’s why car insurance premium is sky high.
To be updated if my lawyer updates me..
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