When you are injured in a vehicle accident, there are certain things with which you are undoubtedly very familiar, including the factual details of your accident. However, achieving success in your injury lawsuit is about much more than putting together a strong factual presentation. It is also about understanding the law and procedure, and how to use them advantageously. The recent case of one injured man is a prime example. The man’s counsel’s post-trial motion led a trial judge to modify the outcome of the case and increase the man’s damages award from $58,500 to more than $500,000.
The case arose from a two-vehicle accident in southwest Louisiana in June 2012. The plaintiff was a passenger in a car driven by his son that was hit while the son was making a left-hand turn. The driver who hit them, the plaintiff alleged, caused the accident because he ran a red light. The injured man and his wife sued the at-fault driver, that driver’s employer, the insurer of that vehicle, and the employer’s insurer.
In a personal injury case that arises from the harm you’ve suffered in an auto accident, it is very important to, as the plaintiff in this case did, ensure that you name all of the possible people and entities that might have been responsible, including everyone whose negligence was part of your accident and anyone who might be responsible vicariously, along with the insurance companies for each of those people or entities.
Another important step is to pursue summary judgment on all of the issues for which it is available. In this case, the plaintiff asked for an order of summary judgment on the question of liability. The other driver was undeniably 100% at fault because he ran a red light, the plaintiff argued. In this case, the plaintiff succeeded and received the sought-after summary judgment on liability.
The issue of damages in this case was much trickier due, at least in part, to the fact that the plaintiff had suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident just a month before this accident took place. The plaintiff’s doctors testified that, even if the man’s injuries pre-dated the June accident, that incident made them worse. The jury returned a damages award in favor of the plaintiff but only for $58,500, $55,000 of which was past medical expenses and past mental anguish, pain, and suffering.
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Again, achieving true success in your case is often about understanding all of the options available to you…and using them. The counsel for the plaintiff made a motion for a JNOV, which is an acronym for a Latin phrase that means “judgment notwithstanding the verdict.” It is an argument that the jury’s decision is against the totality of the evidence and asks the judge to replace the jury’s decision with their own. Here, the plaintiff argued that a $58,500 award could not be proper when the man had gone through arthroscopic surgery and a total knee replacement and had incurred more than $100,000 in damages just in past medical expenses alone.
The judge in this case granted that motion and returned a damages award of more than $550,000. The defendants appealed but achieved only a small success. The appeals court reduced the damages award by $50,000, but that still meant that the request for JNOV raised the damages award for this injured man and his wife from $58,500 to more than $500,000.
As you approach your injury case, you need counsel who understand how to go about pursuing the maximum recovery available. The Louisiana motor vehicle collision attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm have been helping injured people for many years and are ready to talk to you about your case. For your confidential consultation, contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.
More Blog Posts:
Louisiana Woman Obtains Million-Dollar Recovery for Wacky Wire Auto Accident on Interstate, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, March 15, 2017
Louisiana Pedestrian Recovers $80K Damages Award Despite Stepping in Front of Flatbed Truck, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, March 6, 2017