A state appellate court recently affirmed a jury’s decision to award no damages to a woman and her husband after they sued another driver for causing a motor vehicle accident. The driver of the other car admitted that he was at fault in the accident but denied that the woman was injured in the crash. The jury and the appeals court agreed with the defendant.
The accident occurred when the defendant swerved around a bus at a slow speed and sideswiped the woman’s car. The woman was alone in her car and wearing her seatbelt, and her body did not hit the dashboard, doors, or any other component inside the car. The airbags in the car did not deploy, and she did not request immediate medical attention. She drove herself home from the site of the accident.
The woman sued for injuries she claimed to have suffered to her back and neck. As a result of these injuries, she sought compensation for pain and suffering, as well as for future medical care, medications, and an inability to perform certain household chores and activities. In total, she requested compensation of between one and two million dollars. Her husband also sued the defendant for $275,000 for a loss of companionship, both past and present, due to the couple’s alleged inability to play golf, take walks, and engage in other forms of joint physical activity.
In the end, the jury rejected the plaintiffs’ damages claims and awarded them zero dollars. In doing so, the jury largely relied on video footage showing the plaintiff walking, bending, and carrying heavy objects with no apparent pain after the accident. Declaring the jury’s verdict reasonable, the appeals court then affirmed the decision.
Car Accidents in Maryland
In Maryland, people who are injured by a motor vehicle may be entitled to compensation if they can prove that another party acted with negligence. This is true if the injured party is a driver, passenger, bicyclist, or pedestrian. In all of these cases, if an injured party is able to demonstrate that a driver did not take reasonable care in operating his vehicle, and that his failure to take such care was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, the driver may be liable for negligence. Compensation is intended to make an injured person as whole as possible by accounting for economic losses as well as for pain and suffering. The amount of liability depends on the extent of a plaintiff’s injuries.
There are many ways that a driver can be negligent while operating a motor vehicle. If a driver is distracted by talking on a cell phone or texting, he or she may be driving negligently. The same is true if a driver is speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including over-the-counter and prescription medications. Negligence can also occur if a driver disregards roads signs, weather conditions, or roadway construction while operating a motor vehicle.
Many motor vehicle accidents seem small at first, but even minor accidents can cause serious injuries. Airbags do not need to deploy or seat belts lock for whiplash to occur, which can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain and suffering.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
The lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen have the experience to succeed in cases that look minor on paper but are debilitating in reality. With over 20 years of experience, our attorneys know that not all injuries are as minor as they first appear, and often people suffer without receiving the compensation they deserve. If you have been involved in an auto accident, big or small, you may be suffering more than you are fully aware. You may also be entitled to more compensation than you think. That is why speaking with an attorney shortly after an accident is imperative. For a free consultation, call Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC at (800) 65401949.
More Blog Posts:
The Importance of Naming All Potentially Liable Parties in a Personal Injury Lawsuit, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published September 6, 2016.
Court Resolves Ambiguity in Insurance Contract in Favor of Insured, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published August 16, 2016.