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Senior Contributor

Re: How sad is it?

Talking about trial lawyers brings back another episode from my past.  About 25 years ago I was in a car accident caused by a 75 year old man driving drunk at 11 AM.   The scary part was the guy had just left a bar and was driving out to a farm to drive a grain truck for a farmer during harvest season.   At the time the state law only require a minimum of $25,000 insurance coverage for car owners which is all the old man had for insurance.  The accident cracked a couple of bones in my back and caused me to miss 12 weeks of work and has left me with a back that to this day gets sore easily when bending over for extended periods of time. 


The wife and I decided to take legal action against the other driver that caused the accident to compensate us for our losses.   The first three attorneys we visited with had no interest in my case since they knew the most they could collect was $25,000.   We eventually found an attorney willing to take our case and he lined up a meeting with the old man and the attorney representing the man's insurance company for depositions.  I eagerly looked forward to that day and had the idea in my head that my attorney would aggressively go after the other side similar to what I have grown accustom to seeing on TV and in the movies.   After the deposition was over my attorney approached the opposing attorney and mentioned how it had been a long time since they had last seen each other and that they should go to lunch together.   I laugh about now but at the time thought my attorney was collaborating with the enemy and guilty of treason.


This incident is another one that left a bad taste in my mouth and made me question our legal system.   The old man that caused the accident was legally drunk and his blood / alcohol test came back well over the legal limit yet he was only charged with an illegal left turn.   He was not a rich and powerful person and did not even reside in the county where the accident took place and where he was prosecuted.   The accident occurred while I was at work and was bringing some grain samples back to our lab.   My boss's car was totaled and he was curious why the other driver was not charged with OWI.   The county attorney admitted to my boss that if the other driver had been 21 years old they would have charged him with OWI.  Say what????