I am the defendant in a personal injury case. The plaintiff did not call 911 right after the accident. Rather she waited several hours before going to a hospital. Can I say that due to the absence of 911 and police reports the plaintiff failed to prove that she actually got injured at my premise. Is this enough to dismiss the case? or should I subpoena more evidence from the hospital? Thanks.
Is your insurer providing a lawyer to defend you?
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It is always argued that a delay or gap in the time between the injury and the treatment is somehow suggestive of of a lack of real injury, but it is not dispositive. Lack of a 911 call certainly isn't and may be excluded from evidence anyway.
I suggest you contact your insurance company, and, if you did not have any, a lawyer. Do not try to defend this case yourself.
Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Email: [email protected]
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As a defendant you need not prove anything--it is the plaintiff who has the burden of proving that they were injured. You certainly are entitled to question the lack of 911 all form the scene--however, if they went to the hospital and there are doctors who attribute any injuries to the accident then your argument will most likely fall flat because it will be your word against that of an expert--a doctor.
If you had insurance, you would do yourself a favor by notifying them so that they can provide you with a free and competent defense. If you did not have insurance you would do yourself a favor by hiring an attorney.
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Arguing that the plaintiff did not seek medical attention until several hours following an occurrence is not a sufficient basis to dismiss a case. It is really not that great of an argument either. It is very common for people to delay medical treatment and try to tough out their injuries. It is also common for the onset of symptoms to be delayed by hours and even days. Depending on her injuries, a several hour gap between an accident and medical treatment does not seem like an unreasonable time. The medical records will provide a better picture of what happened and will assist you or your attorney in determining whether her injuries are consistent with what she has alleged.
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