In a recent legal triumph, Jonathan P. Hayes, a dedicated attorney at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC, demonstrated his unwavering commitment to securing justice for his clients. The case in question involved a complex car crash, resulting in a remarkable $2.7 million verdict. This victory showcases Mr. Hayes' exceptional legal prowess and his relentless pursuit of the truth, even in the face of formidable obstacles.
The Challenge: Client's Conflicting Statements
The case revolved around an auto tort that occurred in 2018, which left the plaintiff, Amanda Daniels, injured. The defendant, Daniel Denton, was involved in a collision with Ms. Daniels in Roswell, Georgia. The plaintiff's complaint alleged that Denton's negligence had caused the collision. However, an unexpected challenge arose when Ms. Daniels provided conflicting statements about her driving speed leading up to the accident.
"On the day of the collision, Ms. Daniels reported traveling at a speed between 35 to 40 mph at the scene and in the emergency department," explained Mr. Hayes. "However, months later, her statements in two different medical records indicated speeds of approximately 50 to 53 mph in a 35 mph speed zone, without a clear explanation."
This discrepancy presented a significant hurdle for the plaintiff's legal team, compounded by the inability to retrieve event data recorder information due to the vehicle being declared a total loss.
The Defense's Argument
The defense, represented by G. Lee Wellborn of Downey & Cleveland, contested the plaintiff's claims by emphasizing Ms. Daniels' statements about her speed at the time of the accident. According to the defense's pre-trial brief, the plaintiff admitted to driving 15 to 18 mph over the posted speed limit, with a drink in one hand, while using GPS on an unfamiliar road.
Furthermore, the defense argued that Ms. Daniels was "50% or more at fault for the accident" and that any injuries not directly caused by the collision were not eligible for recovery.
Overcoming the Obstacles
To counter these challenges, Jonathan P. Hayes and his legal team decided to reconstruct the collision for the jury's consideration. They enlisted the expertise of accident reconstructionist Mr. Sean Alexander. Using advanced 3D imaging and photogrammetry technology, Mr. Alexander debunked the high-speed claims made by Ms. Daniels.
"The plaintiff’s accident reconstruction expert clarified that Ms. Daniels was traveling at a speed between 25.74 and 45.91 mph in the 35 mph zone," according to the plaintiff's statement. This expert opinion showed that the collision would have occurred regardless of Ms. Daniels' speed.
The legal team also pointed out that an investigating officer had determined Ms. Daniels had the right of way at the time of the collision. Additionally, they provided detailed information on Ms. Daniels' injuries, her subsequent medical procedures, and the associated expenses, which exceeded $180,000.
After a three-day trial, the jury returned a verdict awarding over $2.7 million in damages. Notably, the highest settlement offer from the defense had been $250,000. Mr. Hayes praised the outcome for its value and the affirmation that his client bore no fault for the collision. He attributed the success, in part, to the unique composition of the jury.
"Leaving three engineers and a high school physics teacher on the jury who understood the methodology Mr. Alexander utilized and how he arrived at his opinions turned out to be a good idea," Mr. Hayes noted.
With the judgment entered on October 12, Mr. Hayes and his client are now focused on post-judgment matters, including a motion for attorneys' fees and pre-judgment interest.
Jonathan P. Hayes, Esq., and his colleagues at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC, continue to demonstrate their dedication to upholding justice, no matter the obstacles they encounter. This recent success serves as a testament to their unwavering commitment to their clients and their exceptional legal skills.