“He Was Drunk”, An Intoxicated Person Caused My Accident
by Bret Schnitzer
We have sued drunk drivers many times. Drunk Driving causes innocent motorists and their families to suffer devastating injuries and loss. The less known terrible truth about drunk drivers is that often times their insurance companies “admit liability” on the first the day of trial to allow them to prevent the Jury from learning that the defendant was drunk and caused the accident. Think about how unfair it is to allow the insurance company to fight liability for eighteen months of litigation, and then admit liability on the first day of trial and prevent the jury from learning the defendant was drunk. (Eighteen months is the typical time frame from the filing of a lawsuit to a trial).
The insurance company often times fights liability fiercely throughout the entire litigation, and makes the victim and their attorney hire experts and take depositions to meet their burden of proof to establish that the drunk driver was in fact drunk. This can require the attorney to invest considerable time and money deposing everyone and anyone who processed any blood alcohol testing to establish the “chain of custody” of that testing. The Michigan Rules Of Evidence establish strict guidelines for the admission of testing results to ensure they were not tainted and/or testing equipment was properly calibrated or properly sterilized. If there was a PBT test then the Police officer also needs to be deposed and brought in to testify as well.
In some cases, an expert witness needs to be retained to establish the effects that the blood alcohol content or drugs had on the driver to cause the accident. All of these procedures cost both time and money and allow the insurance company to fight liability at every turn to hide their insureds culpability. The insurance attorneys may spend hours examining and cross examining the witnesses as the insurance company tries to find some technical flaw that they can use to exclude the alcohol results. Some insurance companies simply sit back and wait to see if the injured parties attorney does everything they need to do to prove their client was drunk. If the injured parties attorney is not highly experienced sometimes they fail to do what is necessary to prove the drunk drivers liability. If proper witnesses are not retained or timely listed , witness lists are not filed timely, discovery is not done properly, the insurance company may get an opening to defend the case on liability even under extreme circumstances of a highly intoxicated drunk driver. Bear in mind that the Michigan Court Rules prohibit the mention of the fact that an insurance company is involved or the limits of insurance liability. The jury never gets to know that an insurance company has been fighting liability through their attorneys throughout the litigation.
The insurance company is generally very happy to take advantage of any attorney who is not properly prepared, too busy to properly handle the case, or not experienced enough with the drunk driving accidents. On the first day of trial the insurance company generally files an “admission of liability” once they are convinced that the injury attorney has or will be able to establish the defendant was drunk. If the inexperienced / unprepared lawyer did not file witness lists in a timely manner or hire experts, or subpoena witnesses properly it may be too late and the drunk driver wins. Even when the highly experienced attorney “jumps through all the hoops” the insurance company may wait until the first day of trial, admit liability and files a “motion in limine” arguing to the Judge that since they have “now” admitted fault there is no legitimate reason that the jury should know that their client was “drunk” because they have “now” admitted they were at fault for the accident. That sounds pretty unfair doesn’t it, yet many Courts will agree that once the defendant “admits liability” the fact that the defendant was “drunk” is not coming in as evidence.
Schnitzerlaw have, however, established a novel and proven method to prevent the insurance company to pull this stunt under many more circumstances. Many lawyers, even those who are experienced injury attorneys do not know or understand this Downriver Car Accident Attorney method of preventing the insurance company from admitting liability and thus hiding the fact the defendant was drunk from the jury. The implimentation of this novel method takes place at the beginning of the case not the end. That makes it extra important to hire the Car Accident Attorneys now If you are hurt by a drunk driver we will certainly implement this procedure which makes it more difficult for the insurance company to a hide the fact that the drunk driver was drunk from the jury. Call us for a free consultation at (313) 389-2234.