In Maryland personal injury cases, the plaintiff must prove the amount of damages caused by the defendant’s negligence. In a July 6, 2017 case, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland reviewed the jury’s verdict in a negligence claim arising out of a car accident. At the trial, the defendant stipulated that he was responsible for causing the accident by running a red light. The question for the jury was whether, and in what amount, the plaintiff was entitled to damages. When the jury returned a verdict of zero dollars, the plaintiff brought an appeal, arguing that the court should have granted her request for a new trial.
In the case, the plaintiff was driving her car when it was struck by a vehicle operated by the defendant, who drove through a red light. The plaintiff suffered injuries to her neck, which were treated with physical therapy and injections of anti-inflammatory medication in the months following the accident. At trial, the testimony of the plaintiff’s doctors differed on the amount of physical therapy that was necessary after the accident, but they agreed that some treatment was reasonable and causally connected to the accident. There was also testimony that the plaintiff had spinal problems for which she had sought treatment several months before the accident.
On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the trial court erred in refusing to grant a new trial because the verdict for the defendant was not supported by the evidence. The plaintiff pointed to the facts that the defendant admitted responsibility for the accident and that her doctors agreed that medical treatment was necessary and causally connected to the crash.