Maryland Court Reviews Jury Verdict in Rear-End Automobile Collision

In many cases, a rear-end car accident is caused by a negligent driver.  In order to recover compensation from the other driver, however, a plaintiff must prove that he also suffered an injury or loss and that his injuries were caused by the driver’s negligence.  In a January 3, 2018 case, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland reviewed a personal injury claim involving a rear-end accident.  The parties stipulated that the defendant was negligent in causing the accident, but they left the issues of causation and damages for the jury to decide.  After the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant, the plaintiff appealed.

In the case, the defendant rear-ended the plaintiff as he was stopped at a red light at an intersection.  The impact caused the plaintiff’s car to collide with an SUV that was in front of his.  Nevertheless, the plaintiff’s airbags did not deploy, and there was no damage to the vehicles other than a scratch to the plaintiff’s rear bumper.  The parties were able to drive away from the accident scene, and the defendant was uninjured.

The plaintiff dropped off his passenger after the accident and drove himself to the emergency room.  The doctors took an x-ray of his shoulder and said he could return to work in two days.  A week later, the plaintiff sought treatment from his primary care physician, who referred him to another doctor.  The doctor treated the plaintiff over the course of two years, providing rehab and physical therapy services.  The plaintiff was able to continue playing sports throughout the time.

Three years after the accident, the plaintiff filed suit against the defendant.  After a five-day trial, the plaintiff moved the trial judge for judgment on the issue of causation, arguing that since the defendant’s expert had agreed that at least some of his treatment was attributable to the accident, a jury could not reasonably find otherwise.  The motion was denied.  Ultimately, the jury found that the plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by the accident.  The plaintiff subsequently appealed to the higher court.  One of the issues on appeal was whether the trial court erred by refusing to grant the plaintiff’s motion on the issue of causation.

On appeal, the court found that the jury had a number of reasons to doubt that the defendant’s negligence caused the damages sought by the plaintiff.  The court pointed to the fact that the accident itself was minor, the property damage was insignificant, none of the passengers was injured, the plaintiff engaged in a fair amount of strenuous activity following the accident, and other evidence.  Accordingly, the court affirmed the decision of the trial court in denying the motion.  The court went on to affirm the jury verdict entered in favor of the defendant.

If you have been hurt in a truck or car accident, the Maryland injury lawyers at Foran & Foran, P.A. can provide advice regarding compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and other damages.  We represent victims in negligence cases arising out of slip and fall accidents, car crashes, medical malpractice, and other wrongful actions on the part of businesses and individuals.  Schedule your appointment today by calling Foran & Foran at (301) 441-2022 or contacting us online.

Maryland Court Affirms Verdict for Plaintiff in Car Accident Case, Maryland Personal Injury Blog, published June 15, 2016

Maryland Jury Finds Defendant Not Cause of Collision Between Plaintiff and Parked Vehicle, Maryland Personal Injury Blog, published October 12, 2016


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