Police Officer Makes Bad Ruling in Collision...

by Jerad
(Hi Hat, KY)

About 2 years ago my girlfriend was involved in a car accident while delivering mail. She was in her boss's car and the other driver ran into her because he was speeding. It happened on an impassible road that many people have said is a no-fault road.

It wasn't even a bad accident. The other driver got a little scratch on his car and the car my girlfriend was in got a dent. There were black marks on the road left by his car because of him speeding and no one was hurt, although he now claims he is. He tried suing my girlfriend's boss but got nothing. Now he is suing my girlfriend.

The problem is the cop who showed up was a local sheriff deputy from Magoffin County where the accident took place. The cop ruled it her fault because he knew the other driver. The cop didn't take pictures or talk to my girlfriend at all, he didn't even get out of his car.

My girlfriend and I live in another county but she delivers mail in both counties. Does the other driver have any grounds for his lawsuit? Is there any other evidence we can present which can counter the police officer's ruling? Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Police Officer Makes Bad Ruling in Collision...":

Jerad (Hi Hat, KY)

Your girlfriend's boss may have nothing to worry about. The Statute of Limitations, or "filing period" for a personal injury or property damage claim in the State of Kentucky is one (1) year.

If the other driver is just now filing suit, all the "boss" will have to do is file a Motion for Summary Judgment. In that motion the boss would ask the court to dismiss the case because the driver-plaintiff failed to file his suit within one year of the collision.

You can find samples of Motions for Summary Judgment on the Internet. Here's a good place to find one: www.millerandzois.com/sample-motions.html

If the lawsuit was filed within one year of the collision you will need enough supporting testimony to convince a judge or jury the other driver's action was the "direct and proximate cause" of the collision. It's also possible a judge or jury may find the boss partially, or "comparatively" liable for the collision. If so, the boss will only have to pay that portion of the damages the court rules he is responsible for.

To convince a judge or jury the boss will need witnesses. If they aren't available the boss will need to hire an accident reconstruction expert to testify the collision was proximately caused by the plaintiff and not the boss. Otherwise it will be the plaintiff's word against the boss's.

The next problem the boss may face is the testimony of the police officer. You say he found the boss to be at fault. If the officer put that information in the police report it will be very strong evidence against the boss. If that occurs the boss will need some sort of proof of the officer's bias. Saying the officer decided in favor of the plaintiff because he knew him is one thing - proving it is another.

Hopefully the Statute of Limitations issue will decide the matter and the boss will rest easy.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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