A Trial for a Lost Loved One

I lost my brother unexpectedly last spring, and it was one of the most difficult times of my life. I live in San Francisco and my brother lives in Boston, but we were all each other had in the world. Our parents passed away when we were younger, so we remained close through our adult years. 

Unfortunately, our jobs forced us to live across the country from one another. Video chat allowed my children to know their uncle, but I was always concerned for my brother because he was thirty-two, single, and had no children of his own.

The Accident

I got the call about the car accident on a Sunday evening when I was cleaning up dinner for my family. It was three hours later there, and apparently, a drunk driver had run a red light and T-boned my brother’s car. He died on impact. I was devastated.

It took months for me to grieve the loss, but once I got my emotions in check, my husband made me realize that I needed to contact a Boston personal injury lawyer and file a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver.

I was my brother’s closest living relative, so it was up to me to make sure my brother didn’t die in vain. My brother deserved justice for what happened to him and I wanted to obtain a settlement on his behalf. I didn’t know what I would do with the money, but I knew I had to fight for it.

Going to Trial  

I initially spoke with my attorney in Boston over email and by phone. He did his best to gather information and evidence on my brother’s case while I stayed in San Francisco and took care of my family. It wasn’t until the trial began that I had to fly out to Boston and face the person responsible for my brother’s death.

I thought I would break down when I saw them standing on the other side of the courtroom, but at this point, I felt sorry for the driver. I could tell the man was remorseful and I simply hoped I could win the settlement our family deserved and move on from this traumatic experience. 

The judge and jury ruled in my favor. All the evidence was stacked against the drunk driver, and he really didn’t have any way to defend himself. 

I gave some of the settlement money to a charity to help families suffering with loved ones lost in car accidents. I also gave some of the money to another charity providing education on drunk driving. The rest of the money I put in a college fund for my children—I think that’s what my brother would’ve wanted.

My Settlement Saved Me

I never thought I’d be going to court for a personal injury claim last summer, but my whole life changed when I was walking across the street one afternoon and a car hit me. It was midday and I was blindsided. I had done nothing wrong—I was in the crosswalk and peddling at a decent speed, but this car was going well over the speed limit and the driver didn’t see me because she was texting on her phone.

I’m not the type to sue someone. I brush things off quickly and have empathy for others, but unfortunately, suing the driver was my only choice in this situation. My insurance refused to pay for my medical bills and I could hardly afford to pay my rent!

I had broken my leg and three ribs from the crash. My bike was ruined, and I needed months of physical therapy to recover from my injuries. I couldn’t go back to work for six weeks, and on top of all that, I was in a lot of pain and suffering emotionally. My lawyer and I agreed that I should demand $15,000 from the driver. She’s lucky it wasn’t worse. 

Going to Trial

I was nervous to go to trial for my case and I hoped we could settle outside of court, but the driver had a ruthless defense lawyer on her side. She didn’t want to accept my demands and didn’t want to pay me the amount of money I deserved. My attorney assured me that a trial was the only way I would get the maximum settlement.

I was thankful to have a strong support system of people who prepared me before heading into the courtroom. My legal team did most of the talking and spoke on my behalf during the opening statements, the presentation of evidence, and the cross-examination

I testified and told my side of the story which wasn’t difficult because I simply told the truth. I answered questions from the judge and the jury sympathized with my case. Once closing statements occurred and the jury left to deliberate, I got nervous.

It didn’t take the jury long to come back into the courtroom and deliver their verdict. They found the driver guilty and gave me the settlement I deserved. My lawyer had investigated my case thoroughly and provided clear evidence showing that the driver had been texting behind the wheel when she hit me. Without this evidence, I may not have won my case. 

What I Learned

I hope the woman who hit me learned something from going to trial, because I know I did.  Normally, I give people second chances and I’m glad that I have such a forgiving personality; but I learned that, occasionally, it’s a good thing to stand up for yourself and what you deserve. My settlement saved me and allowed me to pick up the pieces of my life and move forward. If I hadn’t gone to court, I would have continued to struggle because of someone else’s mistake.

She Was Drunk, but I Was Driving

A few months ago, my friend and I were driving home from a party when we got pulled over by the cops. My tags were expired, which is why the cops had a good excuse to pull us over. I was driving the car and had been the designated driver for the night. My friend, on the other hand, was wasted. I tried to keep my cool as the policeman asked me to get out of the car. I was nervous as to what would happen next. 

You see, in the state of Texas, a police officer is allowed to arrest a driver for a DWI even if they have no physical proof that the driver is under the influence. If the officer has any suspicion that the driver has been drinking, they have the right to charge them. Well, I was completely sober and my senses were all intact, but this police offer wasn’t buying it. Apparently, because my friend was drunk, this was suspicion enough for me to be drunk, too.  

The officer arrested both my friend and me. They stuck her in a drunk tank to sober up and charged me with a DWI. I was livid. I immediately called the best Dallas DWI attorney in the city and told him all about the situation. I was able to post bail, but I was still furious that I now had to go through a trial and defend my character. 

The Day of the Trial

On the day of the trial, I felt confident because my lawyer and I had spent numerous hours preparing. We knew that the police officer had zero evidence to incriminate me on the DWI charge, but I was honestly surprised at how hard of a fight the prosecution put up. We were able to get my charges dropped, but for a slight second, I had been worried. 

I’m really grateful that I was given the right to an attorney and a trial, because, without the chance to defend myself, the police officer’s side of the story would’ve been the only side heard. Even without evidence, the officer would’ve been able to incriminate a sober driver for a DWI charge, and a DWI conviction would’ve been detrimental to my future.

Unfortunately, my friend being drunk in the passenger seat and me choosing to be the designated driver worked against me. In the future, I won’t trust the police to believe my story; I’ll just take a taxi!

I Found My Voice Today

I’m writing this blog after an insanely heavy weight has been lifted from my chest. Today, with the help of my sexual abuse attorney in NYC, I sent a man to jail for sexually abusing me after he’s been walking free for over five years. I finally found my voice and mustered up the courage to come clean about what had been done to me and, though it wasn’t easy, I’ve never felt freer than I do now.

The trial was pretty terrifying, I have to admit, but my suffering began so long ago and I knew that the only way to climb out of the hole of shame I’d been living in was to seek justice and ensure that this man pays for what he’d done. After breaking down one day in my apartment, I finally called a lawyer and explained my situation. I was worried that I wouldn’t have grounds for a case after so much time had passed, but he assured me that there was still hope. 

Together, we began gathering evidence. I didn’t know if this man had assaulted any other girls, but I knew he had relationships with other women and I wondered if they had similar experiences. 

I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but my lawyer and I did some research and found some of these women he used to talk to. Five years ago, the man had been seeing three other women and two of the three were willing to tell me about their experience. Both women had a similar assault experience and agreed to testify against the man in my case. 

The Day of the Trial

I knew where the man worked because, unfortunately, the town where we lived wasn’t that large. For the past five years, I’d kept my head down trying to avoid him at all costs. It wasn’t hard for the police to take him into custody and make him attend the trial once I pressed charges against him. Seeing him there in the courtroom—being in the same room with him again—made me nauseous. 

My attorney represented me brilliantly against my abuser and his defense team. Because I had the two other women to support my assault claims, the man’s word didn’t mean much. The jury came up with a guilty verdict and he was sentenced to ten years in jail. 

While I wish I had found the courage to put this man in prison sooner, I’m just proud of myself for what transpired today. Today was a great day. I found my voice, and trust me when I say that I’ll never lose it again.

One Slip-and Fall Changed It All

I live in Lakeland, Florida, and I had an interesting trial experience after I slipped on spilled mayonnaise at the grocery store one day. Random, I know, but the mayonnaise blended in with the tile floor and there were no store clerks around or hazard signs in place to warn me of the spilled substance. I was casually doing my grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon when I violently fell in aisle three.

I broke my collarbone, shattered my tailbone, and ended up with a severe concussion from the fall. Thankfully, there were people around to witness the fall and video cameras also caught the incident in action. After going through a brutal recovery, I consulted with a Lawyer about my case and my lawsuit began soon thereafter. 

The Trial

I never assumed that going to court would be such a complex process. In my mind, the situation was pretty obvious—I was the victim here. The store owner was clearly responsible for my slip-and-fall accident, and I deserved a settlement for my medical expenses and my pain and suffering. I was appalled to find out that the store was claiming that the spilled mayonnaise was an “open and obvious” hazard! 

They were grasping at the most desperate defense possible. Being a large and powerful corporation, they hired an experienced defense team to defend them in court. While this defense made the trial last a lot longer than expected, I still had the upper hand. The judge and the jury both sympathized with my situation, and the evidence I brought to the case was unmatched. 

The Verdict

In the end, I received the settlement I deserved, but I wouldn’t want to go through a trial again if I didn’t have to. I mean, no one wants to be an injured victim in a premises liability lawsuit. It was, however, interesting to observe how the trial process worked. 

Even though my side of the case was clearly the justified side, the defense was able to drag out their story because they had experienced lawyers with excellent strategies in the courtroom. 

I imagine that, in other cases where the verdict isn’t as cut and dry, the verdict can come down to the strength of the legal teams for both the prosecution and defense. Sometimes, how well you or your Lakeland personal injury lawyer can convince the judge and jury end up being the most significant aspect of the trial.

My Jury Duty Experience

I woke up in my Denver apartment on a typical Wednesday, and I was delighted to find a jury duty demand letter in the midst of my morning mail. I had never been called to jury duty before, but I heard that it was a long and drawn out process. I’m being sarcastic . . . I wasn’t excited. My jury duty experience was somewhat intriguing, however, because I watched the case and actually paid attention to what happened.

Emotions were high in the courtroom because the woman who filed the lawsuit suffered from a traumatic brain injury after a driver hit her while texting behind the wheel. She had hired the best personal injury lawyer in Denver to represent her because it was clear from her circumstances that she needed to obtain a large settlement.

The defendant, however, also hired an excellent defense lawyer who was trying to prove that his client wasn’t texting and driving. It came down to a ruthless fight between legal teams, and negligence was proven using concrete evidence. In the end, it was up to me (and the rest of the jury, of course) to come to a verdict.

How the Jury Decided

Being on a jury feels like such a burden. You have two people’s lives in your hands. I knew that this woman deserved compensation for the brain injury she suffered, so it wasn’t tough for me to vote in her favor, but I couldn’t help but feel guilty for the man who was about to spend the rest of his life in financial distress for the mistake he had made.

More than anything, I felt empathy for this man, because I knew he was feeling so much guilt. Many people text while driving and never think anything bad will come of it. Unfortunately, one text sent while behind the wheel can alter someone’s life forever. This is why it’s so important to stay aware when driving and put your phone away—not because of the financial consequences, but because you can injure or kill yourself or someone else.

My Final Thoughts

I wonder if the lawyers or other courtroom employees ever put themselves in the position of the jury. They never have to sit in our shoes and actually make the final decision on a case. I’m really glad that the case I sat in on wasn’t a murder trial or a situation where the verdict was harder to determine. I couldn’t live with myself if I had sent an innocent person to jail or let a guilty person go free.

“My Lawyer Didn’t Fight for Me” – A Trial Story

Last year in Texas, I was injured in a serious car accident. The driver was texting on their phone and didn’t realize I had stopped in front of them at the red light. I saw them approaching through my rearview mirror as they tried to slam on their brakes. It happened so fast. Unfortunately, they couldn’t stop in time, and I was completely helpless. I shattered my leg in three places and punctured a lung.

The recovery process I went through after the accident was brutal: I was in so much physical pain, and emotionally, I was distraught and frustrated. I was an all-star sprinter on the track team at my college, and shattering my leg completely ruined my future. This person stole my future from me because they were texting, and I couldn’t find solace in knowing how my life had ended up.

I knew seeking compensation for the injuries I’d suffered was the only way I could get through my recovery without financial stress on my back. I hired a lawyer, but I didn’t know anything about the legal process, and my attorney wasn’t experienced in personal injury cases. When we went to trial, I knew I was in trouble.

The Trial Experience

The defense from the negligent driver’s side was fierce. He built up this incredible case about how the guy who’d hit me wasn’t using his phone at all. They blamed the wreck on a car malfunction and used government faults in intersection safety as an excuse. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! I hoped my lawyer would be able to stand up to this guy and get me the money I clearly deserved.

I was disheartened when my lawyer didn’t fight for me. My injuries were obvious, but clearly, my attorney had no experience and he didn’t have any drive to bring my case to victory. I ended up receiving a much smaller verdict than I deserved, and I still have a hard time emotionally dealing with my injuries because of it.

Legal Representation Matters

If I had taken the time to find a lawyer who cared about my case, things might have been different. My friend said she used Alex Hernandez Trial Lawyers for her dog bite accident last year and had a much better experience than me.

She made me realize that having a lawyer who’s both experienced in personal injury cases and experienced in the courtroom is essential if you hope to hold the negligent parties accountable, because defense lawyers are good at their jobs and they’ll ruthlessly fight back.

I know if I had had a qualified trial lawyer to fight for me and support me through the legal process, things would’ve turned out differently.