There are many pieces of evidence that you must obtain when bringing a personal injury lawsuit following a car accident. Witness testimony can be helpful, but in some situations, multiple witnesses provide conflicting testimony. At the Law Offices of Michael O. Smith, our Boston car accident attorneys have substantial experience assisting injured Massachusetts residents with preparing a strong case, and we are ready to do the same for you.
A recent appellate decision involving a car accident demonstrates this. The man was driving his vehicle in the late afternoon on Interstate 84 in Manchester. He exited the interstate, and when the left arrow turned green for his lane, he entered the intersection. The defendant was traveling east and slammed into the plaintiff’s vehicle, causing a T-bone collision. The defendant alleged that she applied her brakes in an attempt to stop the crash but that she was unable to react in time. The plaintiff alleged that he sustained severe injuries that were life-threatening. There were a number of individuals who witnessed the accident. They provided statements to the police and later testified at trial, but the information that they provided varied substantially. Some of them indicated that the defendant did not yield to a red light, while others stated that the plaintiff ran a red light.
The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the person driving the other vehicle. He also filed a lawsuit against the driver’s employer, alleging that the employer was vicariously liable because the accident happened while the other driver was working. Among the defenses that they asserted, the defendants claimed that the plaintiff was also negligent at the time of the accident, including by failing to yield the right of way to the other driver. The plaintiff denied these allegations and claimed that he had the right of way.
The lawsuits were eventually consolidated so that they could proceed in one trial. The jury entered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. The defendants filed a motion seeking to set aside this verdict, but the court denied it. The defendants then appealed, claiming that the lower court made a reversible error when it refused to provide an instruction to the jury indicating that it could allocate liability between the parties based on Massachusetts’ comparative negligence rules. The appellate court rejected this argument, finding that the defendants failed to present the issue of comparative negligence in accordance with well-established rules and failed to make the same evidentiary arguments during trial. Specifically, the court ruled that it was not an error to allow the plaintiff to offer driving history evidence for the defendant driver and that it was not an error to deny the defendants’ motion to set aside the verdict. The appellate court rejected the remainder of the defendants’ bases for appeal and affirmed the judgment in favor of the plaintiff.
Car accidents can be painful, disruptive, and stressful for the victim. Our seasoned team of trial lawyers has handled numerous types of car accident lawsuits throughout Massachusetts, which means we have the experience and knowledge it takes to ensure that you receive the settlement or the judgment that you deserve. To schedule your free consultation, call us now at 617-263-0060 or contact us online.