Monday, October 26, 2015

It's gonna be another one of those weeks

another headache day
Have you ever gotten notice of a surprise that turned out to not be so surprising?  How about those Nigerian Scams floating around the Internet.  Or maybe the notices that you've won a million dollars.  Or maybe it's a pink slip shortly after you buy a house.  Yeah, some surprises are more surprising that others.

This reminds me of a surprising situation a young lady had a while back.  Seems as young lady was sitting at a stop sign, another car bumped her from behind.  That's "bumped" as in not too hard to cause whiplash but enough to let her know another car was touching hers.  She and the other driver got out of their cars to examine the damage. Both agreed that there was no damage to the cars and so both agreed to go their separate ways without getting information on either (ie. no drivers' license, address, insurance - nothing!).

Fast forward a couple weeks and young lady get served with a complaint for negligence seeking damages stemming from this driver "bumping" her while she was legally stopped at a stop sign. Turns out the other driver didn't think the "bump" was all that subtle and claimed that she (the other driver) got whiplash and a whole lot of other damages. NOTE: it was the person doing the bumping that filed the lawsuit.

Young lady is not a little freaked out and doesn't know what to do. Because this case smelled like fraud, I suggested she do a little background digging to see if there isn't something more going on behind this lawsuit.  I suggested she go to the "civil" courthouse and see if they have a plaintiff/defendant index. Many cases filed in civil court are documented in these indexes which are available to the public.  

I suggested she look under the plaintiff's name and see how many times that name appears. Turns out, in little under 3 months, there were 22 lawsuits filed by this person.  Next I suggested she take her findings to the District Attorney Fraud Unit and let them in on this little scam.  That's right, scam.  In the mean time, to preserve her rights under the present lawsuit, I also suggest she take a look at California Forms of Pleadings and Practice (Lexis) and file a response to the complaint (so that the slugs can't file a default judgment against her).  

Anyway, I suspect the moral to the story is, doing your homework before you draw your conclusions is a prudent course of action.  That way, at least you have your bases covered, you know what's what, and have a better idea of what you're facing. Yeah, that's what I'd do.