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Motorcycle accident

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1 Motorcycle accident on Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:02 pm

Basiville


Arresto Menor
Hi Atty L. We are looking for a legal advice. Below is the story of what have happened to my brother. I hope that you could give us some advice. Thank you
My brother, Tom went to his friend’s motorcycle shop where his other friends were having a drink. A few moments after, the victim, Jerry arrived already drunk. Apparently he came from another drinking spree where his sister and brother in law tried to pick him up and were convincing him to ride in the van, instead of driving his motorcycle since he was already drunk and could barely start the motorcycle because of too much drunkenness and they fear Jerry might get into an accident. The sister even tried to take the motorcycle from him and forced him to ride with her in the van, to no avail. Since they could not force Jerry to ride with them in the van to take him home, she asked one of the friends to guide Jerry instead. What we do not know is that why, of all people it was Tom who ended up guiding Jerry.
Jerry and Tom were riding in two different motorcycles. Along the way, Jerry’s cap flew. Out of instinct, Jerry went back to get his cap, Tom, on the other hand, thinking Jerry returned to the motorcycle shop, followed Jerry. While Jerry was trying to pick up his cap from the road, Tom did not notice him and accidentally hit the tail of the motorcycle that Jerry was riding.
Both Jerry and Tom were rushed to the hospital by the van where Jerry’s sister and his brother in law were riding. Tom had bruises and stitches, unfortunately Jerry was badly hit in the head. Tom called his elder sister, Daisy for help. Jerry’s sister and brother in law didn’t have the money to pay for the charges incurred in the hospital, so Daisy gave some amount, we’re not sure of how much. Jerry needed an operation and was transferred to a bigger hospital and was in a coma for some time.
The moment I arrived in the Philippines, I came to visit Jerry at once. I tried to give P10,000, but Jerry’s mother refused to accept the money, saying it was not the amount she was expecting from me to give them. I had a series of meetings with Jerry’s mother where the Barangay Captain had to mediate in order for both parties to arrive at some sort of a compromise. Jerry’s mother said that no lawsuit will be filed, only that they need to ask my family for financial support since the hospital bills have reached almost a million pesos, though they did not specifically demanded any amount. My family was able to gather 100,000 and gave it to Jerry’s mother, though the money was given in a staggered basis. There were signed letters stating that Jerry’s family received certain amount from me which Jerry’s mother has signed.
Lately, Jerry’s mother has been harassing me through my Facebook account, sending me messages demanding that I give them money for Jerry’s second operation. On the other hand, Jerry has been asking for apologies from my family because of the inconvenience that the accident brought to their family. An information has also reached us that Jerry still rides his motorcycle even if he knows that his health is still at risk, since a part of his skull is still “partially” exposed since the doctors had to remove a part of his skull in his initial operation. Just a few days back, Daisy was summoned to the incumbent Barangay Captain’s office where Jerry’s mother is now demanding that they shoulder the expenses for Jerry’s second operation, otherwise she will file for a lawsuit. Jerry keeps on saying that no lawsuit will be filed, yet his mother is insisting and even threatening us that if they do not pay for Jerry’s next operation, then they will file for a case.
Daisy just recently gave Jerry 10,000 pesos. Jerry’s family has always been inconsistent in giving the actual amount that they paid for Jerry’s bill in the hospital.
Questions:
1. The accident happened almost 6 months ago. Can Jerry’s family still file a lawsuit? If yes, then what will be the case, and will Tom be convicted?
2. Up to what extent should my family support Jerry?
3. Is there any way this case can be settled without going through an arraignment and can Jerry’s mother be sued for harassment?
4. If ever Jerry’s family file for a lawsuit, will there be a chance that the case be dismissed and Tom be acquitted given that Jerry is also liable since he was drunk at the time of the accident? Tom didn’t have a license at the time of the accident, and Jerry drove without license that night.
5. The motorcycle that Tom used at the time of the accident belongs to his friend. Will his friend also be liable?


Thank you so much for sparing us your time to help us in this concern.
God bless you

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2 Re: Motorcycle accident on Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:16 pm

attyLLL


moderator
1) they can still file a complaint. if it was 1 on 1 and no witnesses, they will have a hard time to prove their allegations.

2) if there was fault, then what is legally required is to, as far as possible, restore the victim to his situation prior to the accident.

3) an agreement can be reached at the bgy. it is legal to threaten you with a lawsuit. if it is being used to irritate you, then the charge is unjust vexation.

4) it depends on what is proved. how do you prove that jerry was drunk if he denies it? will the other friends testify? do you mean they just forgot their license or they don't have licenses at all? if latter, then that may raise presumption that it was that person's fault.

5) yes, it is possible. the registered owner is liable for accidents involving his vehicle.


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3 Re: Motorcycle accident on Wed Dec 22, 2010 2:26 am

Basiville


Arresto Menor
Thank you so much Attorney for your prompt reply. Here are the answers to your queries:


1) they can still file a complaint. if it was 1 on 1 and no witnesses, they will have a hard time to prove their allegations.


4) it depends on what is proved. how do you prove that jerry was drunk if he denies it? will the other friends testify? do you mean they just forgot their license or they don't have licenses at all? if latter, then that may raise presumption that it was that person's fault.

- there were witnesses who can attest that Jerry was drunk during the time of the accident, and there were also witnesses who saw how the accident took place. Tom didn't have a license at the time of the accident, although Jerry has one but was not carrying it at the time. whether he left it at home, or have lost it, we can never tell.

thank you so much for your time, we really appreciate it.

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4 Re: Motorcycle accident Today at 2:55 pm

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