Maryland Court Affirms Million-Dollar Jury Award in Car Accident Appeal

A serious car crash may cause permanent injuries and lasting pain.  In Maryland, an individual may recover damages for pain and suffering, as well as past and future medical expenses and other losses, in a personal injury suit.  In a November 14, 2019 Maryland car accident case, a jury awarded the plaintiff over 1.1 million dollars in damages for the injuries he suffered.  The defendant appealed the jury award as excessive, and the matter came before the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland.

The plaintiff was driving home from work when he was struck by the defendant’s vehicle in a head-on collision.  The day after the accident, the plaintiff sought medical treatment for severe pain and decreased range of motion.  Further testing indicated that the plaintiff had suffered a disk injury in his back, which likely would not heal due to various factors.  The plaintiff filed a personal injury suit against the defendant, who conceded liability for the accident.  The only issue at trial was damages.

At trial, the plaintiff’s medical experts testified that the injury permanent, painful, and would continue to cause substantial pain.  Despite the pain, the plaintiff declined pain relief medication that would prevent him from working as an equipment operator.  The jury awarded the plaintiff approximately 1.1 million dollars for future pain and suffering, which was subject to the Maryland non-economic damages cap, and also awarded damages for his medical bills and lost wages.  One of the arguments asserted by the defendant on appeal was that the jury verdict was excessive.

In the instant case, the trial court had found that the jury award for pain and suffering was not excessive, despite the fact that it exceeded the amount requested by the plaintiff.  On appeal, the court explained that generally, the trial court given discretion to establish what amount of non-economic damages it considers excessive.  This is because, unlike the reviewing court, the trial court has the opportunity to sit through the trial and observe the nuances and inflections of live testimony.

Ultimately, the appeals court concluded that the trial court had carefully evaluated the plaintiff’s testimony and the evidence presented at trial in deciding that the jury had not come to an excessive verdict.  The court noted that the evidence was sufficient to support a greater per diem amount of damages for pain and suffering than that requested by the plaintiff.  The appeals court went on to find that there were no other grounds argued by the defendant to warrant a new trial, and affirmed the damages amount awarded to the plaintiff.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, a Maryland personal injury attorney can help you recover medical expenses and other damages resulting from the collision.  At Foran & Foran, P.A., we have the experience and compassion to represent victims of car and truck accidents, as well as other people who have been injured due to negligence.  Contact Foran & Foran by phone at (301) 441-2022 or contact us online to request a consultation regarding an accident or medical malpractice case.