Mechanic loses negligence case in car accident

A mechanic, who was seriously injured in an accident in Balandra in January, last year, has lost his negligence claim against the driver of the car in which he was travelling. 

Delivering an 8-page judgement in the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain on Thursday, High Court Judge David Harris dismissed the lawsuit in which Lutchman Ramcharan was suing Vijay Mohan and his insurance company Bankers Insurance Company of T&T. 

While the fact that Ramcharan was injured in the accident was not in contention, Harris said he (Ramcharan) was unable to prove that Mohan, a fire officer, was negligent in it. 

"The injury to the Claimant is real. However, the evidence of the claimant in relation to liability has been very skeletal and sterile and in the end, not sufficient to meet the threshold of the standard of proof," Harris said. 

He went on: "The independent evidence upon which the court can test the veracity of the respective parties' accounts has been scant to non-existent. Where it was existent it has not been altogether reliable and helpful to the Claimant."

In his claim, Ramcharan claimed that the incident occurred around 8 pm on January 27, last year, while he, Mohan and a third man were driving along the Toco Main Road. The trio was on their way to view a parcel of land in Balandra, which was being sold by Mohan's friend. 

Ramcharan claimed that Mohan was speeding and was crossing the imaginary white line that separates the opposing lanes when the car made contact with an unidentified vehicle that was driving in the opposite direction. 

The impact caused the driver side wing mirror to shatter and shards of glass flew into Ramcharan's face and cut him. 

In his defence, Mohan denied that he was speeding as he claimed that he was driving at 40 km/h. He claimed that the other vehicle's headlights were blinding him prior to the collision and he could not pull away more than he had done as there was no shoulder on the narrow stretch of road. 

In analysing the evidence in the case, Harris noted that Ramcharan was not in a position to assess whether Mohan was not staying within his lane and had no evidence to prove that he was speeding. He also found that it was plausible that Mohan was blinded by the bright lights. 

- by Derek Achong

Read more in tomorrow's Trinidad Guardian newspaper.

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