In the first case, our client was riding a bicycle home late at night. He was coming from a bar, and his blood alcohol was over the legal limit. A vehicle made a turn in front of him and hit him, causing very serious injuries. The police report was unfavorable to our client, indicating our client had failed to yield the right-of-way and had been drinking. Sauter Sullivan’s investigation uncovered that the other driver had also been drinking and that the evidence from the scene of the accident did not support the police report. The other driver did not have insurance, so Sauter Sullivan made claims under our client’s uninsured motorist coverage. After the filing of a lawsuit and discovery, Sauter Sullivan was able to obtain the full policy limits of $250,000 from the uninsured motorist coverage despite the fact that the police report had blamed the accident on our client.
In the second case, our clients were traveling to work on Broadway in the City of St. Louis, when an individual came from a side street and hit them. Our clients were knocked unconscious in the accident. The other driver claimed our client ran a red light and the police report reflected that our clients were at fault for running a red light. We canvassed the area, and were able to find a witness to the accident who was able to provide evidence that the police report was wrong. The witness testified that our clients had a green light and that the other individual had, in fact, run the red light. After obtaining a deposition of the witness, Sauter Sullivan was able to settle the case for the policy limits of $200,000.
In both cases, it initially appeared that there would be no recovery due to the unfavorable police reports. Sauter Sullivan conducted an investigation through photographs, accident reconstruction techniques, location of witnesses, and deposition testimony to overcome the unfavorable police reports. Sauter Sullivan does not simply accept the police report at face value. We do our own independent investigation to determine who was at fault in an accident. Oftentimes, we are able to overcome unfavorable facts which may appear in the police report. Not many law firms have the resources and the willingness to do this.