Florida Appellate Court Upholds Defense Verdict in Car Accident Case

Earlier this month, a Florida appellate court issued a written opinion in a personal injury case brought by a motorist who was rear-ended by another driver. The court ultimately affirmed the jury’s verdict in favor of the defendant despite the fact that the defendant driver admitted that he was at fault for causing the accident. The court based its opinion on the fact that the jury was presented with conflicting evidence as to the seriousness of the collision, and therefore the jury was free to find that the collision was not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Minor AccidentThe Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was driving to the gym when he was struck from behind by the defendant, who was driving a pick-up truck. The plaintiff did not immediately go to the hospital, but went the next day. After being seen by a doctor, the plaintiff was prescribed pain medication and completed three months of physical therapy. The plaintiff filed a personal injury case against the defendant, seeking compensation for his medical bills as well as for his lost wages.

Both the plaintiff and the defendant testified at trial, and offered different versions of what happened on the day of the accident. The plaintiff testified he was completely stopped when the defendant rear-ended him, and that he had to “brace” himself to prevent his head from striking the steering wheel. He explained that his car suffered various types of damage as a result of the collision.

The defendant testified that the plaintiff came to a sudden and complete stop, leaving him little time to react. He explained that he attempted to avoid the collision, and was almost successful in doing so, but that the corner of his truck “nicked” the rear-end of the plaintiff’s car. The defendant testified that the plaintiff did not mention being injured after the accident, and that it was overall a minor collision.

After hearing all the evidence, the jury found in the defendant’s favor. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the jury should have at least found the defendant liable for his medical expenses, which were uncontested. However, the appellate court affirmed the jury’s verdict, explaining that there was contradicting evidence in the record as to the seriousness of the accident. This allowed the jury to find that, while the accident was the defendant’s fault, the accident was not the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Have You Been Injured in a South Florida Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a South Florida car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled injury attorneys at the South Florida law firm of Friedman, Rodman, & Frank have extensive experience representing injures clients and their families in a wide range of personal injury cases, including those arising from car accidents. Call 877-448-8585 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Employer’s Failure to Conduct Thorough Background Investigation May Be Basis for Liability in Employee’s DUI Accident, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published February 22, 2017.

Court Characterizes Doctor’s Office Slip-and-Fall Accident as a Medical Malpractice Incident, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published March 9, 2017.

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