Not long ago, a man who was injured after he was involved in an accident with a construction vehicle was awarded $3 million after a jury trial. In a recent opinion, an appellate court affirmed the jury’s verdict.
The case presents several interesting issues for Florida truck accident victims, or those who have been injured in other Florida motor vehicle accidents. Most importantly, the case discusses how courts deal with arguments that the plaintiff shared blame in causing the accident that resulted in their injuries.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was driving in a construction zone when he came upon a stopped or slow-moving construction vehicle. The plaintiff decided to pass the vehicle by crossing the double-yellow line. However, as the plaintiff attempted to pass the construction vehicle, it made a sharp left turn, colliding with the plaintiff’s car.
The case proceeded to trial, where each side presented evidence through several eyewitnesses. Several important issues were in conflict, including how fast the plaintiff was traveling at the time he attempted to pass the construction vehicle and whether the operator of the vehicle had engaged the vehicle’s flashing yellow lights. Ultimately, the jury resolved the conflicts in the plaintiff’s favor and returned a $3 million verdict.
The defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence established the plaintiff was contributorily negligent in causing the accident and he should be precluded from recovering for his injuries on that basis. The court disagreed, dismissing the defendant’s appeal. The court acknowledged that the evidence was conflicting, but held that the existence of conflicting evidence does not require a court preclude a plaintiff’s recovery. In other words, the court explained that the decision was properly left to the jury.
Shared Fault in Florida Car Accidents
In Florida, courts use a more forgiving approach than that applied in the case discussed above. Under the doctrine of comparative fault, a plaintiff will not be precluded from recovering for their injuries if they are found to be partially at fault for causing an accident. Instead, a court will merely reduce the amount that the plaintiff can recover based on their own percentage of fault. Thus, if a plaintiff’s injuries total $1,000,000 and the plaintiff is 10% at fault, the most that plaintiff would be able to recover from the remaining defendants is $900,000.
Have You Been Injured in a Florida Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Florida truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated South Florida personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Friedman Rodman & Frank have decades of combined experience bringing cases on behalf of Florida injury victims and know what it takes to succeed on their clients’ behalf. We represent clients across South Florida, including in Miami, Homestead, and Naples. To learn more, call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Court Declines to Impose Duty on Landowner to Trim Trees Near Intersection, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published November 29, 2018.
Court Permits Premises Liability Case to Proceed After Applying the Res Ipsa Loquitor Doctrine, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published November 13, 2018.