Our client, Joshua Peoples was proceeding through an intersection on a green light when his car was hit by an Alameda County Deputy Sheriff at a high rate of speed. Upon impact, Joshua’s car spun multiple times and hit a light post. The impact knocked Joshua unconscious and caused a permanent traumatic brain injury. His life was dramatically changed.
After Joshua began his recovery, he contacted our personal injury law firm in Oakland to discuss if we would take his case. After hearing Josh’s story, I believed he had a winnable case despite the challenges: we believed the Deputy Sheriff was at fault. Yet, he and his department denied all responsibility, claiming he followed all laws and policies.
Winning a personal injury case against a public entity is a daunting undertaking. It means fighting against an entire governmental entity with deep pockets and virtually unlimited resources. Yet, I felt confident we would find a path to victory.
What struck me upon reading the police report was the lack of appreciable witnesses. I found this hard to believe given the location the collision had occurred. How could an urban area of Oakland, California with near-constant foot traffic not have any witnesses?
I decided to go to the scene of the incident to search for clues that could help win the case for our client. I canvassed the neighborhood where the collision took place, asking people if they had seen the collision.
Ultimately, I located the convenience store near the scene of the accident and asked the manager if he had any information. Not only did he say yes, but he told me there was an eyewitness who hadn’t been interviewed by police. The witness had given the manager her name and phone number and instructed him to give her information to any investigator or lawyer that made inquiries.
I called the witness. As it turned out, she lived in an apartment overlooking the intersection.She saw the entire collision and could unequivocally confirm that the adverse driver (the sheriff) was at fault for running the red light and crushing my client.
The testimony of this eyewitness cracked the case wide open, and was one of the critical factors that led to winning a $3 million settlement for our deserving client.