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Sneaky 08-18-2010 12:57 PM

Courts and Eye Witnesses
 
How much weight does an eye witness' testimony hold in court. I got in an accident earlier this year when a guy slammed on his breaks in the middle of an intersection when the light turned yellow. It was raining and I rear ended him. I swerved to get out of the way so basically he got a scratch but I lost my headlight and fender.

I have a court date next week for my careless driving charge but I have an eye witness who said he saw everything and corroborates my story. I don't know this person, he came out of nowhere and said he would help.


since he is the only witness, will his testimony get me off?

sirex 08-18-2010 01:24 PM

Did the police take his statement as well?

Sneaky 08-18-2010 01:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sirex (Post 1444839)
Did the police take his statement as well?

Nope, but they have his name and number.

Mystikal 08-18-2010 01:35 PM

It will definitely help your case, but it's just a piece of puzzle. Make sure the rest of your argument is solid.

NOTORIOUS VR 08-18-2010 01:39 PM

So basically you're going to court with your witness to tell them you did in fact rear end a guy? What's the point? Telling them that you tried to swerve doesn't make any sense.

Did you get charged with careless driving? It was still your fault you hit him, it wasn't because he stopped when he chose to.

The guy stopped and you didn't/couldn't which means one of two things... you were going too fast or following too close in order to stop regardless where the guy in front of you decided to stop.

If the guy in front of you was able to stop for a yellow in the middle of the intersection you shouldn't have even bothered to try to go through in the first place and stopped for the light and the accident would have been avoided altogether.

craigIS 08-18-2010 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NOTORIOUS VR (Post 1444847)
So basically you're going to court with your witness to tell them you did in fact rear end a guy? What's the point? Telling them that you tried to swerve doesn't make any sense.

Did you get charged with careless driving? It was still your fault you hit him, it wasn't because he stopped when he chose to.

The guy stopped and you didn't/couldn't which means one of two things... you were going too fast or following too close in order to stop regardless where the guy in front of you decided to stop.

If the guy in front of you was able to stop for a yellow in the middle of the intersection you shouldn't have even bothered to try to go through in the first place and stopped for the light and the accident would have been avoided altogether.

Your mostly true. Years ago in London, I was driving in the rain, and I was not familiar with the town at that time. I was cut off just at the top of a hill coming up to a set of traffic lights. On the down grade of the hill there were a line of cars stopped. I saw this the second after being cut off. I slammed on my brakes (car didn't have ABS), I started to skid, and cranked my wheel hard left, but went straight into the car stopped in front of me. I was then rear ended by another car. The car who rear ended me gave a statement that coincided with mine. My charge of careless was dropped after the other drivers statement.

Sometimes a witness can help out. Other times, not so much. It all depends on how fast you were going, and how closely you were folowing, like NOTORIOUS said.

NOTORIOUS VR 08-18-2010 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigIS (Post 1444850)
Your mostly true. Years ago in London, I was driving in the rain, and I was not familiar with the town at that time. I was cut off just at the top of a hill coming up to a set of traffic lights. On the down grade of the hill there were a line of cars stopped. I saw this the second after being cut off. I slammed on my brakes (car didn't have ABS), I started to skid, and cranked my wheel hard left, but went straight into the car stopped in front of me. I was then rear ended by another car. The car who rear ended me gave a statement that coincided with mine. My charge of careless was dropped after the other drivers statement.

Sometimes a witness can help out. Other times, not so much. It all depends on how fast you were going, and how closely you were folowing, like NOTORIOUS said.

Very true, I guess if you and the witness can make it seem that somehow it was really the other guys fault or at least somewhat you can get off the charge.

Really in the end it will depend on the Judge and the officers testimony as well. If he did his homework I doubt very much that a witness will help.

mstearnsy 08-18-2010 04:31 PM

Lifted from Fault Determination Rules for Ontario Insurance Act:

6. (1) This section applies when automobile “A” is struck from the rear by automobile “B”, and both automobiles are travelling in the same direction and in the same lane.
(2) If automobile “A” is stopped or is in forward motion, the driver of automobile “A” is not at fault and the driver of automobile “B” is 100 per cent at fault for the incident.

Sounds like you're in trouble.

sirex 08-18-2010 05:34 PM

You cant slam on your breaks for NO reason at all though. If the witness testifies saying there was no reason for him to slam on his brakes at all, I think your charge might get dropped. Its worth a try regardless.

Also, him slamming on his brakes causes him to skid + its raining. Be very dificult for someone driving behind them - even at a safe distance

craigIS 08-18-2010 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NOTORIOUS VR (Post 1444861)
Very true, I guess if you and the witness can make it seem that somehow it was really the other guys fault or at least somewhat you can get off the charge.

Really in the end it will depend on the Judge and the officers testimony as well. If he did his homework I doubt very much that a witness will help.

Yes, it ultimately depends on the judge, and the officer's testimony.

I think there is some leniency when it comes to rear ending another car. I also think that weather plays a factor, as well as what's going on around both cars. Look at my situation. I should have been at fault according to the law, but was found not to be. This is due to the fact that it was raining, and my car at the time did not have ABS, and the driver who cut me off while i was approaching a blind intersection.

Sneaky 08-18-2010 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigIS (Post 1444911)
Yes, it ultimately depends on the judge, and the officer's testimony.

I think there is some leniency when it comes to rear ending another car. I also think that weather plays a factor, as well as what's going on around both cars. Look at my situation. I should have been at fault according to the law, but was found not to be. This is due to the fact that it was raining, and my car at the time did not have ABS, and the driver who cut me off while i was approaching a blind intersection.


Did you plead not guilty.

Blackedout95 08-18-2010 07:38 PM

Did he have a turn signal on, left perhaps? Why stop dead in the middle of an intersection when light JUST turns yellow. Which begs the question how do you time that shit, he is driving along and looks up while IN the intersection see's yellow and brakes. Sorry bro I like you but that shit dont make sense, unless he was making a left and in that case 100% your fault. jmo

canuckder 08-18-2010 08:23 PM

Doesnt matter if you win or lose tho, insurance likes to see that you tried to fight it. even a 10 over ticket, always looks better if you go and fight it.

Sneaky 08-18-2010 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blackedout95 (Post 1444931)
Did he have a turn signal on, left perhaps? Why stop dead in the middle of an intersection when light JUST turns yellow. Which begs the question how do you time that shit, he is driving along and looks up while IN the intersection see's yellow and brakes. Sorry bro I like you but that shit dont make sense, unless he was making a left and in that case 100% your fault. jmo

No he wasnt making a left. It was right at the corner of church and Gerrard.

Regular traffic, regular speeds. The light is green and he goes threw and it turns yellow and he slams on the breaks. I was behind him expecting to go through and I hit him. He was a good 5-6 feet past the line when he stopped.

I talked to the witness today and he remembered everything that happened.


I hit the guy, I take responsibility but I don't think i was driving carelessly. Anyways the cop told me to take it to court and they'll lessen the charge. I'm wondering what I should plead though. Im guilty of hitting someone, but I dont think I was guilty of driving carelessly. I wasn't on my cell phone, I was fully aware of everything that happened.

craigIS 08-18-2010 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sneaky (Post 1444930)
Did you plead not guilty.

I plead not guilty. #1, if I hadn't been cut off, my attention would not have been diverted from ahead of me, where I should have been looking.

#2, If my car had ABS I wouldn't have slid as far as I did.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Sneaky (Post 1444940)
I hit the guy, I take responsibility but I don't think i was driving carelessly. Anyways the cop told me to take it to court and they'll lessen the charge. I'm wondering what I should plead though. Im guilty of hitting someone, but I dont think I was guilty of driving carelessly. I wasn't on my cell phone, I was fully aware of everything that happened.

Why plea guilty if your not. Just say that you take responsibility for not being able to stop safely and effectively, and that you don't believe you driving carelessly. Like you have just said.


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