In July of 2009, the Court of Appeals in Tennessee heard a case that involved a car accident where the Plaintiff’s vehicle was not seriously damaged and the injuries were not serious. (See Gonzales v. Long, 2009 WL 3321304 (Tenn.Ct.App).
In Gonzales, on January 2, 2004, the Defendant caused a minor car accident to the vehicle in front of her, hitting that vehicle from behind. Id. Just prior she was at a complete stop and traveled no more than 2 feet before she struck that car in the rear. The Plaintiff, a 10 year old boy, was a back seat passenger. Id. After the accident the police arrived and no one reported injuries. Id. The car Plaintiff was in was not seriously damaged, and Defendant’s car had just a fist sized dent in the bumper where it impacted the trailer hitch on Plaintiff’s car. Id. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff claimed that he was injured and that he sustained whiplash. Id. He treated with a Dr. Hellman having $2,683 worth of medical bills. Id. The car accident case went to trial on September 15, 2008. Id.
At the car accident trial, the Plaintiff admitted he told Defendant at the scene of the car accident that he was not injured. Id. Though at his deposition he testified that right after the car accident his head began to hurt him a lot. Id. Also, after the accident, he testified that he play boxed with his friends at his birthday party. Id. And that he continued to play basketball and tackle football with his friends every day after the car accident. Id. Plaintiff also did not miss any time from school because of the car accident. Id.
As far as his medical condition, Plaintiff did not see a doctor until six days after the car accident. Id. The Jury after hearing all the evidence found for the Defendant. Id. The Plaintiff wanted the jury’s verdict tossed out for not being valid and consistent with the evidence. The Court denied their motion and stated “Expert opinions are not ordinarily conclusive in the sense that they must be accepted as true on the subject of their testimony, but are generally regarded as purely advisory in character: the jury may place whatever weight they choose upon such testimony and may reject it, if they find that it is inconsistent with the facts in the case or otherwise unreasonable.” Id.
The jury awarded zero damages to the Plaintiff. They did not award anything for the medical bills. This was allowed under Tennessee law. The car accident was a low impact car accident and from that the jury was free to award or not award anything they wanted… within reason. In the car accident case at hand, the Court held that the Plaintiff failed to prove either injury or causation. Id.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky car accident matter, please call and speak to a Kentucky car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew S. Alitowski at 888-ASK-ANDREW (275-2637) or contact us online. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are injured…Ask Andrew!!!