Massachusetts Appellate Court Dismisses Appeal in Car Accident Injury Case for Failure to Attach Medical Records

Many individuals know that lawsuits can take a long time to resolve. There are many different phases of litigation and there are many opportunities to file an appeal. Understanding the procedural options available to you during your legal battle is incredibly important and could make a huge difference when it comes to receiving the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve. As dedicated Boston car accident lawyers, we have guided countless injured victims and their families through the court system and we are prepared to put our knowledge and experience to use for you.

In a recent appellate opinion, the court discussed two key concepts of procedural law. The plaintiff was injured in a car accident and brought a suit against the responsible driver seeking compensation for medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. The jury returned a verdict in the plaintiff’s favor, but the plaintiff felt that the award was greatly lower than the amount of medical expenses that she sustained as a result of the crash. Accordingly, the plaintiff moved for additur or a new trial on just the issue of damages.

An additur is a request by the plaintiff to the trial judge to increase the amount of damages that the jury awards to the plaintiff. If the judge agrees that the jury awarded an inadequate amount of damages, then the judge can increase the amount. The judge also has the option of holding a new trial on the issue of damages alone to determine the amount of damages that the plaintiff is entitled to receive based on the evidence presented at trial.

The judge denied the plaintiff’s request for an additur and new trial and the plaintiff appealed. At the beginning of its review, the appellate court noted that the plaintiff made a crucial mistake in filing the appeal. The plaintiff failed to include an appendix of record materials that provide the appellate court with evidence and information about the proceedings in the trial court that are pertinent to the issues on appeal. The plaintiff’s main argument on appeal was that the jury did not award her sufficient damages given her medical records and bills, but the plaintiff did not append any of her medical records and bills to the appeal papers. Based on this, the appellate court dismissed her appeal.

In the opinion, it also noted that even if the plaintiff had attached medical records, the judge did not commit an abuse of discretion in denying the plaintiff’s motion for an additur or new trial. Whether to allow such a motion is the sound discretion of the trial judge. The defendant had argued before the jury that the plaintiff was not entitled to the full amount of damages that she sought and the appellate court found sufficient evidence in the record to show that the jury could have relied on evidence suggesting a lack of causation between the defendant’s conduct and the accident to reach its conclusion.

If you were hurt in a car accident, we are standing by to help you understand your legal rights and options. We have provided numerous individuals with compassionate and responsive legal guidance in a wide range of accidents including truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. To schedule your free consultation call us at 617-263-0060 or contact us online.

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