The Blind Date
Q: “DJ” was a blind date I got from a web site. He picked me up in his shiny Corvette. Or so I thought: it turned out to be rented. Within minutes, the guy had crashed the car into a utility pole on the side of a roadway. According to the police report, DJ said he lost control when he saw an old friend. Nowadays, he is making out that, all of a sudden, an oncoming car crossed over the double yellow line: that’s why he swerved to the right.
A: Using the latest story, DJ’s attorney may argue that his client was faced with an emergency, that his actions are reasonable and prudent in that context. Suddenly faced with an unexpected circumstance, not of his own making, DJ had little or no time to reflect and was compelled to make a quick decision without weighing alternate courses of conduct.
Your attorney will reply that DJ’s latest explanation, about an oncoming car, is so patently a recent fabrication that it should not even get to the jury – even though resolving questions of credibility, assessing the accuracy of witnesses, and reconciling conflicting statements are generally entrusted to a jury.
With regard to the police accident report, you will need to authenticate it, and sometimes may even want to take the deposition of the police officer who prepared it. Presumably, the officer was acting within the scope of his duty in recording DJ’s statement: it ought to be admissible as a party admission.
To prevail against the rental-car company, you need evidence that the accident was caused by equipment failure or that the company was negligent in entrusting the vehicle to this customer. To prevail against the web site, you would need to voyage successfully through largely uncharted legal territory, with far more facts than you have given here.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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