on Marjorie's mother, and none on the tow truck driver. At first
glance it appeared the police were right. The Traffic Homicide
Report listed four independent witnesses to the accident, and
according to the investigating officer all of them placed blame
for the accident upon Marjorie's mother, claiming she ran a red
traffic signal and turned into the right of way of the oncoming
tow truck. The insurer for the tow truck company felt so strongly
about their client's position that they made clear that no money
whatsoever would be tendered for this tragic accident.
firm took Marjorie's case because it is our policy to thoroughly
investigate all death cases, or cases with significant injuries,
notwithstanding the conclusions of the police or others. When
we first obtained the police file it appeared their conclusions
were correct. None of the four witnesses suggested the tow truck
driver was at fault, and the investigating officer stated that
upon interviewing those witnesses they claimed that Marjorie's
mother was at fault. We learned there were two additional witnesses,
however, and we took the further step of actually ordering the
cassette tapes of the officer's witness interviews and of personally
interviewing those witnesses who would give us sworn statements.
Our firm's investigation paid off, because in actuality two of
the six witnesses placed blame for the accident squarely on the
tow truck driver, two were ambivalent and could not ascertain
fault, and two placed blame on Marjorie's mother, a far different
picture than that painted by the investigating police agency.
receiving the results of our firm's independent investigation
the insurer for the tow truck company agreed to mediate the dispute.
A video animation of the accident emphasizing the varying perspectives
of the six witnesses was prepared to illustrate for the to the
insurer at mediation the testimony that would be presented if
our clients were forced to try this case. Because of the thoroughness
of our investigation and trial preparation we were able to obtain
a favorable result for Marjorie's parents at mediation notwithstanding
what remained a weak liability case, and to spare the Rodriquez's
the trauma of having to relive their daughter's death at trial.