Friday, October 9, 2009

ok...Here's the scoop!

First off, I will start by saying that I have a new appreciation for Handicapped individuals who are on crutches all day everyday, all of their lives. My muscles are SOOO sore....two days in and out of the Holbrook court house, lunch breaks, bathrooms breaks etc have exhausted me beyond measure and that is just physically because of the crutches....mentally, I'm doubly exhausted!

I have not really mentioned to anyone that this was going on....don't know why, just haven't!
it all started 3+ years ago on July 18, 2006

I was on my way home from dropping Austin off at work. I came to the light at white mountain blvd and porter mountain road. I was the third car on the inside/left lane heading west toward show low. I sat at the light for a very short period of time and then the first vehicle in my lane, a black truck went through the intersection, then the car in front of me started to go forward and so I assumed the traffic was moving so I started to move forward as well. I was going 3-5 mph. Then the car in front of me applied their breaks and at the same time I realized the light was still red (Yes, the truck in front came to a stop and then took off through the red light) so I immediately applied my breaks. My car has anti lock breaks and does not stop on a dime. It seemed like my car was stopping slowly but I was applying the breaks hard and that is when my car came into contact with the car in front of me.
Emergency worker arrived quickly and got us off the main road.
Typical fender bender....some damage to the back end of the car I hit, No damages to my car at all. No apparent injury's.
this was the end of it.........or so I thought!
2 years almost to the day (and just days before the end of the statute of limitations).....I got a phone call from my insurance agency. At first i did not even know what he was talking had been 2 years after all and I had not heard a word! But slowly it all came back to me. He let me know that they had settled quickly with the driver. But the passenger in the car in front of me had not accepted any offer that had been made. Apparently he had some injuries. So he let me know that they were getting their attorneys involved and they would be calling me. Oh this sounds fun! NOT!
So long story short.....This man, CLAIMED that he was seriously injured in the accident and would not settle because he did not think the offers made were proper compensation for all of his injuries (Shoulder separation, Tinnitus, vertigo) and for his loss of enjoyment of life (said he could no longer ride his motorcycle because of the dizziness he felt regularly because of the accident)
so.....after a full year and a half of back and forth, gathering evidence, depositions, interviews with doctors, piles and piles of papers, etc....there was a final offer of $10,000 from my insurance company. But he would accept nothing less then $60,000. So he decided to take it to trial and he would be representing himself. (Not really a smart idea, just in case you have ever thought about doing that! LOL)
So we spent the last two days in court. Neither Rich nor I have ever done anything like this so we found it very interesting actually. The first day was ironing out stuff with the judge, jury selection, opening statements and Mr Johnson calling himself as the first witness.
that was a full 11 hour day. (Tiff, It was Judge Lamb)
On day two I was extremely nervous because I knew I would have to testify. If you know me, even slightly, you know how much I HATE to get up and talk in front of is my biggest fear! So my stomach was in knots from the minute I woke up. We got into court, had to go over more stuff with the judge, called in the jury finally and got started. First Mr Johnson took the stand again and then the testimony of one of the Doctors, then Testimony of the Plaintiffs employer, cross examination mixed in there, of each by our attorney and then the Plaintiff rested. Then it was our turn. First our attorney called the officer. By then It was only 11 so I was pretty sure I was going on now.......but NO the judge decided to break for lunch!!! so I had to be nervous for another hour and a half! ghezzzz louise this was so scary!!!! finally we got back to the court house, a long trek on my crutches, and I went in for one of my many many bathroom breaks and while I was there, alone....I decided this was a good time for a little prayer to ask for help calming my nerves. I went back to the court room, sat down, got myself together and my nervousness went away. For the first time all was gone! And it never came back! I love my Heavenly Father!!
So I went on the stand, answered all the question (this took about 45 minutes)and then we rested...
Closing statements were made and off the jury went to deliberate.

Would they find in my favor? My Attorney did not think they would find in my favor completely as I did, admittedly cause the accident (although he argued that I was not entirely at fault because of the movement of the vehicles in front of me) Although this trial was not about weather i caused the accident but more so...did I cause the injuries?

Would they find in his favor? He made it very clear, many times that he has no money, Sympathy votes? He seems to have life altering conditions, were they caused by the accident?

The Jury had the option of:
1. finding in our favor
2. Finding in his favor, and if they did so, deciding how much he would get.
3. Deciding if I was entirely at fault and if not how much of a percentage was I at fault which would indicate how much of a percent of the total amount would come out of my pocket (actually my insurance companies pocket, THANK HEAVENS)

hummmmm what will they decide......

tune in tomorrow for how things turned out.......


Jeremiah and Heidi said...

I am staying tuned in for the ending of this saga...

granny said...

GOOD GRIEF. now how am I going to get any sleep.

granny said...


Fullerton Family said...

Ooohh, a cliff hanger! I'll be back tomorrow.... well, later today!

Tiffany said...

Ahhhh! You better post the rest soon.

Francie said...

i love a good cliffhanger...good thing i didnt say "tune in next season!"