I was writing content for the Baltimore motorcycle accident lawyer section of my website and it made me think of my last serious Baltimore motorcycle accident case. Liability was disputed meaning my client, the motorcyclists, and the other driver were blaming each other for causing the accident. Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries and my client was no exception. He suffered a broken leg. To make matters worse, there was a witness who supported my client, but the witness passed away before trial!
When liability is disputed, a lawsuit almost always needs to be filed. I filed suit in Baltimore City Circuit Court. My client’s case had a weakness. There was a Baltimore City police report which placed my client at fault. However, my client’s version of the motorcycle accident was different from the Baltimore City police report and the version in the Baltimore City Police Report didn’t make sense. Defense counsel subpoenaed the Baltimore City police officer for trial. On the day of trial, the officer was present and ready to testify for the defense. When I spoke to the officer prior to trial, I noticed that her version of the accident, or at least the version the driver told the officer was different than what the driver had provided to me. So, what does an experienced trial attorney do in this situation? First you ask for a Rule on Witnesses. A Rule on Witnesses means any witnesses who aren’t a party to the case must leave the courtroom until they testify. I did not want the defendant to hear the officer’s testimony and I did not want the officer to hear the defendant’s testimony. The Baltimore City police officer had to wait in the hallway.
Then I threw a curve ball. Traditionally in motorcycle accident trials the plaintiff will testify first about how the accident happened and any resulting injuries. However, I didn’t want the defendant to hear my client’s version before testifying and I wanted to catch the defendant off guard. My plan worked to perfection. I had the defendant draw a diagram of how the car and the motorcycle were positioned and how the accident happened. Then I called the police officer to the stand and had her do the same thing. The two diagrams and versions were totally inconsistent. Then my client, the biker, took the stand and stole the show. His version made the most sense and was more likely than not what happened. We won on liability and the insurance carrier offered the policy limits.