Against All Odds, Derek Spada Wins in Liability Trial

Against All Odds, Derek Spada Wins in Liability Trial

To say this trial was hard is an understatement. The client’s first attorney gave up three months before trial. The accident reconstruction expert who was retained by the prior attorney also gave up and would not testify at trial. The judge asked Derek if he was crazy as he proceeded to trial.

Once Derek became involved in this case, he immediately retained a new accident reconstruction expert and began preparing for trial.

The case involved a three-car collision. Each driver had a different version of how the crash happened, and a non-party witness had yet another story about what occurred. The testimony of each of these four people did not match.

The first part of the collision was a rear-end crash. A van was traveling in the southbound lane and began to decelerate and might have stopped abruptly and might have stopped very gradually based on who was believed. The van driver might not have activated his turn signal, or maybe it was on. The van was hit by a pickup truck from the rear, forcing the van into the northbound lane. The van likely went into the oncoming lane of traffic because the front wheels were turned sharply to the left, but the van driver denied that his wheels were turned. At the time the rear-end crash occurred, our client was traveling in the northbound lane. She did not particularly notice the van until it had crossed over into her lane and caused a huge crash between the front passenger side of the van and the front of her vehicle.

The judge indicated that the jury might not know who to believe and find that the evidence was so convoluted that no one would be found negligent or liable.

After a relatively brief but grueling trial, Derek convinced the jury that both drivers were responsible for the collision. The jury found 80% liability against the pickup truck driver and 20% against the van driver. Our client held 0% liable. The next step is a trial to determine damages owed to our client.

Our client is a Saratoga County resident, and originally hired a lawyer from New York City. After learning that a reasonable settlement offer would not be forthcoming, the client’s lawyer told her to take whatever minimal amount he could generate to settle the case. The client suffered life-altering injuries and did not want to settle for a fraction of what she believed her case was worth. When the client would not settle for an inadequate sum, the prior attorney gave up on her.

This client searched online for a new attorney. She called Basch & Keegan and asked Derek to represent her. Luckily, Derek was here to help. The attorneys at Basch & Keegan are never afraid of trial.

The first hurdle of this case was working with the previous attorney, who told Derek he should take any offer they get from the insurance company because he was not confident in the facts of the case and thought the case would be lost at trial.

The second hurdle was finding a new expert. Derek hired an accident reconstruction expert to analyze the crash. The expert’s analysis was a crucial factor in the success of this trial. Derek’s argument put blame on the van for attempting to make a left-hand turn without a turn signal and without ensuring the northbound was clear. He argued that the van stopped short when seeing our client’s car but had already begun turning his wheels to make the turn. This is the main factor that put the van in our client’s lane; if the van’s wheels were straight rather than turned, the van would have gone straight after the rear-end impact and not into our client’s lane. The expert report and testimony proved the theory true.

Derek chose a jury of the smartest people on the panel, who he was confident would understand the testimony from the accident reconstruction expert. On the first day of trial, the jury heard testimony from all 3 drivers and the non-party witness. All 4 stories were different tales.

When Derek put the expert on the stand on the second day of trial, he created a plan where he would walk through all 4 versions of the crash with the expert and still be able to link liability to both defendants. Derek believes this was the key to winning the case.

Derek stated that this expert was the best expert he ever had testified at a trial. He had a near photographic memory and an eye for detail. He was able to explain the mechanics of the crash in a scientific manner while also breaking it down in layman’s terms for the jury to understand. His testimony proved that the wheels on the van had to be turned left for the van to go sharply into our client’s lane and proved that the pickup truck was following the van too closely by points of impact. Our expert created computer model stimulators, but the defense counsel objected at the use of them as evidence, and the judge sustained this objection. Although Derek wanted the jury to see these simulations, having the defense counsel object to their use also made the defense look like they were hiding something.

The jury deliberated and concluded in favor of the plaintiff, holding liability upon both defendants. They found fault 80% on the pickup truck and 20% on the van. This is a win for our client because now we can seek compensation from both insurance companies.

The next step is a trial for damages where Derek will seek to recover for our client’s extensive pain and suffering, as well as her substantial lost earnings and medical expenses (unless the insurance adjusters come to their senses and settle).

Related Posts
  • Overturned! Case Reinstated When Basch & Keegan Wins Appeal Overturning Dismissal Read More
  • Derek J. Spada Recovers Six-Figure Settlement in Medical Malpractice Case Read More
  • John A. DeGasperis Triumphs in Trial Read More