Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Denver, CO
Car: 2011 Outback 3.6 Limited
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
We finally received justice from a road rage accident!!!
My family and I were involved in a road rage accident on April 7, 2019. It was a horrible situation. We were in a quiet residential area moving at 15mph. A guy came behind us in a rice burner, about two feet from my rear bumper, blowing the horn. I slowed to let him pass, he did not. I came to a gentle stop to let him pass. He stopped behind me for about 8 seconds before quickly accelerating around me. We thought the he had moved on. After we started driving again, he slammed on his brakes in front of me. I quickly turned to pass on his left but he quickly accelerated from his stop, he turned left into me hitting the right rear door of my Outback. Then he moved behind us and rammed the rear of our car. He began to flee to scene but when he saw me on the phone, he stopped.
When the investigating officer and his supervisor showed up, they spent the first 30 minutes talking with the other driver. They took his story and ran with it. Before I could speak with them, they issued me (and the other driver) tickets for careless driving. I was the driver cited for the entirety of the fault (Colorado is an at-fault state. Maybe some day I'll post about this because it's important for those living in at-fault states.).
The two Littleton police officers treated us with contempt and disdain. My two friends, who were following me at the time, said the officers were rude and condescending. The investigating officer and his supervisor did NOT:
talk to me or my wife before giving me a ticket.
ask if we needed medical assistance.
review and note the accident scene properly.
An independent witness saw the entire thing. My wife asked her to write a statement. The witness had a question about something so she went to the investigating officer. The officer told her, "It doesn't matter what you write, I already know what happened."
Here are some of the errors they put on their police report:
Time was incorrect.
Location was incorrect.
Did not state my toddler son was in the car.
Did not state if my son was injured, because they did not put in the car. Duh.
They did not ask if I used alcohol or drugs and stated "none."
The supervisor was not listed as being on the scene.
They had my address incorrect and never asked me to verify it.
Did not ask if I was restrained.
Did not ask if it was me or my wife who was driving. One of the two elements to prove careless driving is the verify the person behind the wheel. Another big duh.
They lied in their report an independent witness said I was "driving aggressively." Her statement does not include theses words. I know the witness and spoke with her after the accident. She stated she never said that or anything close to that.
Yesterday was my plea hearing. I did my homework before the plea hearing by talking with several attorneys, learning the statute, gathering evidence, etc. To make matters worse, the prosecutor's file from the police department did not include a copy of the statements by me, my wife, and the witness. I believe the police intentionally did not send them to the prosecutor to cover their own bottoms. So I let the prosecutor borrow the statements from my copy of the police report. (Let this be a lesson. If you want to contest a ticket or accident, obtain your own police report at least a week before the hearing so in case the police want to "misplace" a document for the court, at least you'll have it.)
The prosecutor quickly concluded:
1) This was road rage.
2) The other driver was 100% at fault.
3) The Littleton police did a "lousy job of investigating" and their report is wrong.
4) I did nothing wrong and never should have been cited.
Out of the 20-25 people who appeared for their plea hearing, everyone got a reduced ticket in exchange for a guilty plea except for the other driver. The prosecutor would not reduce his careless ticket and mandated a road rage class. She told the judge "this case is very concerning to me." The other guy pleaded guilty. Not sure if he knows the consequences but he plead guilty to a criminal violation (class 2 misdemeanor). And since the ticket is related to an accident, he's gonna get hit hard with high insurance rates for a long time (yes, insurance underwrites can use a decade-old ticket or accident against you).
Then it was my turn in front of the judge. She told the judge the 4 points above and recommended my careless ticket be dismissed. The judge didn't even ask if I had anything to say and immediately dismissed it!!
Finally!!! Justice!! This is a huge relief for me and my family. It's been stressful having this over our heads. We didn't want to go to trial and hire an attorney. Now that my ticket was dismissed and the other guy pleaded guilty, it will be much easier to recover property and personal injury damages from the other insurance party. We intentionally waited to not inform our insurance company until my careless ticket was dismissed. (hence is why it's important to know how insurance works in at-fault states). So there is another part of justice to come regarding the insurance, but we are in really good position to be successful with it.
We are thankful to God for watching over us. We are blessed to have justice without prolonging this ordeal.
(Please don't make a haste judgment about what I did or could have done to avoid this. A lot of details were left out. Per a legal opinion, an accident in itself cannot determine fault or careless driving.)