Because all attempts at out-of-court resolutions had failed, initial pleadings in the Toledo head-on collision case were necessary. Mediation was fortunately resolved in an agreeable manner to the client. Attorneys familiar with cases like the Toledo head-on crash could use their experience to help victims of negligence. While every case is unique, attorneys could still use their resources to fight for a favorable case result.
After exhausting the efforts to resolve the issue outside of court, the first document that we put together was everything to address the complaint. That was the only thing we initially needed to prepare. It was a complaint setting out the facts of what happened, who the defendant was, and what our claim against him was.
The defendant had 28 days to respond once they were served with the copy of the complaint. After receiving the documents, the defendant filed an answer to our complaint. Generally, they responded by denying claims of negligence and setting out a series of defenses, including a defense that the plaintiff, our client, had caused the collision or had at least partly caused it.
In the initial pleadings in the Toledo head-on collision case, once we had done the initial pleading and after we had gotten through discovery, the one big motion that we filed was a motion for partial summary judgment. During the initial pleadings for the Toledo head-on accident case, we looked at the evidence that we had, as well as the testimony from both our client and the other driver—who had said he had never seen our client before he turned left, and could also not say where she was or how the accident happened.
Our position, based on the research that we had done, was that the defendant was responsible for causing the accident and that legally he was the only cause of the accident. What our research indicated was that, even if our client was legally intoxicated, they could not assign any level of fault to her at all—unless the other party could prove that her intoxication in some way caused the accident.
Our thought in filing the motion was that if we succeeded with it, that would eliminate the fear that her award might be downgraded, because of the jury inappropriately applying a level of fault to her. We were also hoping to get into a position in which alcohol would not be mentioned at trial. Based on our research, our position was the correct legal position. With the evidence we had, we filed a motion for partial summary judgment, asking the court to find that there were not any disputes as to how the accident happened and that, legally, the defendant was the only cause of the crash.
The other side strongly opposed it, and we filed a reply. We never got an answer from the court as to who was right, because the judge did not rule on it before mediation, where the case settled. It was an interesting strategic approach we took trying to deal with some of those difficult facts in a way that we could address them and show that we were serious about our liability position.
With the motion still not having been ruled on when we mediated, it put both sides at a similar level of risk. The other side knew that if our motion did get granted, the trial would only be about our client’s damages, which were significant. On the other hand, we knew that if our motion did not succeed, we would be facing further issues regarding the defenses related to alcohol. For mediation to be effective, it is always good for both sides to be facing a similar risk, and our motion was a good strategic way to address some of those difficult facts we had in this case.
The initial pleadings in the Toledo head-on collision case were a tense moment for the attorneys and client. Because all out-of-court attempts to resolve the case had not worked, mediation was necessary. However, because the client had enlisted the help of an attorney familiar with filing motions, she was able to receive a settlement through mediation that was agreeable to her. If you have been injured in a car accident like the victim of the Toledo accident, then you need to speak with an attorney who could help. Contact a lawyer today.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC