Louisiana Court of Appeal Upholds a $255K Verdict for a Passenger Injured in a Crash with a Commercial Truck

When you are injured in an auto accident in Louisiana, it is extremely important to retain experienced Louisiana truck accident counsel right away, and to pursue your case in a timely and persuasive manner. It is essential to make sure you’ve put your “best foot forward” when you go to trial because, win or lose, it is generally hard to get most trial court verdicts overturned on appeal. One recent case highlights this, with the Louisiana Court of Appeal expressly noting that the plaintiff’s award was “on the high side,” but it was still required to be upheld and enforced.

The injured plaintiff was Rickie, a passenger in a vehicle traveling through Lafayette when an accident occurred. Sometimes, the issue of liability can be an “open and shut” situation. In Rickie’s case, the employer of the other driver stipulated that its employee was 100% at fault and was on the job when he caused the accident. A stipulation is an agreement that the opposing parties of a lawsuit can create in order simply to acknowledge certain facts and not have to litigate them at trial. This meant that Rickie had already “won” on the issue of liability.

Just because you have secured a stipulation regarding who was at fault doesn’t mean that you have won your case yet. You still have to provide the court with a strong and persuasive argument with regard to the damages you suffered. Rickie, as a result of the accident, suffered neck pain, nerve problems in his right arm, sacroiliac pain, and headaches. Most significantly, though, Rickie suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee that, although surgically repaired, still had a permanent impact on Rickie.

Rickie had testimony from his doctor, as well as his own testimony, to indicate the severity of the harm he suffered and the damages that went along with that harm. At the trial’s conclusion, the trial court awarded Rickie $195,000 in general damages, $60,000 in special damages, and $240 in lost wages.

The trucking company appealed the verdict amount. The appeals court, though, upheld the lower court, which meant that Rickie was entitled to receive the full $255,000 award. The appeals court’s ruling contains a few very important nuggets of information for people injured in vehicle accidents. Rickie’s success shows how important it is to put on a powerful case in the trial court. The appeals court seemed to think that the award handed down by the trial court was a generous one, but not so exceptionally large that it required reversal. As the court stated, it can only throw out a damages award if the trial court abused its discretion. “Abuse of discretion” is a high hurdle that is hard to clear. Thus, if you’ve put on a strong case in your trial and achieved a significant damages award at the end of your trial, it will generally be difficult for your opponent to get that overturned.

At the Cardone Law Firm, our experienced Louisiana truck accident attorneys are committed to representing the interests of injured people. Whether you’ve been hurt in a vehicle accident, a trip (or slip) and fall, or some other accident, we are here to work for you.

For your confidential consultation, contact us online or phone Cardone at 1-888-89-CARDONE (1-888-892-2736).

More Blog Posts:

Six Commercial Truck Safety Requirements You Need to Know About, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, March 9, 2018

How Cardone Law Firm Handles Commercial Truck Accidents, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Feb. 5, 2018