COLUMBUS, Ga. — The city of Columbus is prepared to offer a settlement in a 2015 car crash involving a Columbus Police officer. City Council is set to vote Tuesday on whether to give $25,000 dollars to a man injured in that crash.
Nearly two years after getting into the accident, Cody Graves is ready to take the settlement. He says the cash amount might not be enough to make him content. But in his quest to find peace, this was an offer he just couldn’t refuse.
“The cop pulled out in front of me,” Graves said. “It knocked the hell out of me man. I hit my head on the dash on the glass and everything, split my forehead open.”
Graves recalls the wreck that changed his life. He’s had to adjust since the accident. He’s taken on a more supervisory role at his roofing contracting job in Warner Robbins. He’s also spent months in physical therapy. Graves was doubtful when his lawyers told him to take a settlement in the case.
News 3 obtained the accident report from the 2015 collision. The report states that there was confusion in the center lane of Macon Road. It was raining. The police officer was turning left onto Citizens Way, and the other driver was going straight on Macon Road Westbound. The officer then turned in front of Graves and his wife, who was driving, and they essentially t-boned the officer.
Trial lawyer Chris Breault says the confusion in the collision focuses around the right of way.
“If someone’s going just straight down the road, they have the right of way,” Breault said. “And in this instance, the officer did not yield and turned in front of them and caused what appears to be a serious collision.”
He says lawsuits can result in big paydays for clients.
“When you try and case, and you get expert witnesses, and you talk to doctors and you have to hire investigators, and you have to do investigations, the amount of work goes up 100 fold,” Breault explained.
But the costs of lawsuits can mount quickly. Graves says a big payday is not worth the constant pain in his life.
“You may have lost a car,” Breault said. “You may have lost your job. But if you’re seriously injured, then you need to be worried about your own body and your own self.”
Now, Graves hopes to get past both the worries and painful memories.
“I’m working through it and trying to stay positive about everything,” Graves said.
News 3 reached out to the City of Columbus, but they declined to comment on the crash. WRBL also reached out to the Columbus Police Department, who did not get back with us. News 3 did speak with the officer involved in the crash. He said he was doing okay. Cody Graves, meanwhile, faces surgery in two months.