Bicycle Case Result #2: Asleep at the Wheel

Parties
Cyclist represented by Law Office of Seth Davidson
Driver represented by Asleep at the Wheel Insurance Co.

Location of collision
Santa Monica

Facts
Our client, a cyclist, was on a group ride. The driver’s car was filled with passengers as our client and the motorist approached the intersection. The inattentive driver made a right turn without looking to her right, although there were riders proceeding straight through the intersection.

Witnesses to the collision said that the driver failed to yield to the cyclists before making her right turn. The only person who put the blame on the cyclist was the investigating officer, who of course had not witnessed the collision and reached his conclusion without consulting the percipient witnesses. This type of prejudice by law enforcement is a sad fact of life in bike-car collisions, and it’s one reason you need an attorney if you’ve been hit.

Based on the bogus traffic collision report which was unfavorable to our client, Asleep at the Wheel Insurance Co., who represented the driver, concluded that the cyclist was at fault, and put forth a lowball, “nuisance value” offer that wouldn’t have even begun to cover the costs of medical treatment incurred by our client as he tried to repair the damage done by the negligent driver.

We shrugged at Asleep at the Wheel Insco.’s intransigence and filed suit; the case went into litigation. Soon after written discovery was complete, Asleep at the Wheel calendared the deposition of our client. We prepped our client and went into the deposition, prepared for battle and ready for an aggressive, hostile, punishing four hours of grilling as defense counsel would try to undermine our case. We weren’t worried. Our client was telling the truth and was backed up by eyewitnesses.

To our shock and awe, a few minutes into the deposition, the attorney who was supposed to be deposing our client with his well-prepared, extensive list of question, began to sway in his chair, and finally fell asleep. After giving Sleepy Joe a few minutes of much-needed beauty sleep, we awoke him (gently) and suggested that he should probably cancel the deposition and go take care of himself, perhaps with a nap in a more comfortable setting.

However, Asleep at the Wheel’s lawyer wanted the deposition over with. After advising us that he hadn’t been “sleeping” but had rather been “posing a question,” he asked our client the clever question, “Did you brake with your feet?” We wondered if he were confusing our client with Fred Flintstone. His follow-up was to hit our client with a completely unanticipated question: “When did you last ride with your daughter?” Our surprised client replied, “I don’t have any children.”

After a few more starts and stops and naps and jostles, the deposition came to an end as opposing counsel sheepishly apologized and assured us that he would be recommending to the adjuster that the case settle for the full policy limits, which it did.

Do you have a situation where the insurance company is arguing against you about liability? Let us review it. You may have a strong case, even if the traffic collision report is working against you, and even if the attorneys on the other side aren’t falling asleep at the wheel.

*Legal Disclaimer* The results described on this page are not a guarantee of a favorable result in your case. Each and every case is different, and a favorable outcome in this case summary is no guarantee that your case, even if it has any similarities, will be a favorable outcome.

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