There are so many people that come to me with a scenario like this:
The client is traveling straight through an intersection (with a green light) and a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction makes a left hand turn directly in front of my client.
Now, that’s not the problem. The problem is when the vehicle that turned left, tells the police officer that they “had a green arrow”.
Unfortunately, we live in 2017 and no one stops to wait an hour for police to respond to the crash and provide a witness statement. So, what does my client do???
Does this become a he said/she said situation?
The simple answer is yes AND no.
Yes, because the left-turning motorists insurance company is going to rely on their insured’s statement of the facts. Whether this is right or wrong is a completely different discussion.
No, because my client has other tactics to prove their case. The first thing I do is hire an investigator to call the left-turning motorist and get a recorded statement (if they agree). I want to know all their movements prior to the crash. Were they stopped at the red light? Was there another vehicle next to them? Was the main light green prior to their light turning to a green arrow? Etc.
This allows me to gather ammunition to dispute their claim that their light had a green arrow. How you ask? Well in our area, the city is required to maintain light sequence data. What does that mean? Light sequence data is a detail of the date/time/order that traffic lights change at a particular intersection.
So, the next thing I do is make a public records request for this data- the traffic light sequence for a specific intersection, on a particular day, and at a particular time. This is very confusing data that basically takes an engineering degree to interrupt. However, I have seen so many that I can decipher these in minutes.
Now that I have the traffic light sequence, I match up with what my client said compared to what the left-turning motorist suggested in their recorded statement and determine if my client has a winning case.
If we do, I notify the insurance company of my findings and demand that they reevaluate their position on liability. Sometimes they do…sometimes they do not. When they don’t, we do not waste any time. We immediately file a lawsuit and start litigation.
CALL TO ACTION: if you, a family member, or a friend has experienced this problem detailed above, give me a call. I’ll be happy to walk you through the process and help in any way that I can.
If you just want my letter that I send to the City to get the light sequence, email me firstname.lastname@example.org