In December of 2007, the Court of Appeals in Ohio heard a case that involved a woman involved in an automobile accident. The automobile accident occurred in June of 2004 and went to trial in June of 2006. (See Clemens v. Gilbert, 2007 WL 3377287 (Ohio App. 7 Dist.)
In Clemens, Ms. Clemens was injured in an automobile accident on June 10, 2004. At trial, Plaintiff had the deposition testimony of her family doctor and her car accident chiropractor read into evidence. Id. The jury awarded zero damages so Plaintiff appealed. Based on the facts, this Court denied the appeal.
Plaintiff tried to argue that both of her experts agreed that Plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of the automobile accident and thus she should have been awarded something for her damages. Defense argued that the injuries were soft tissue and thus could not be objectively identified. The x-rays did not show anything and Plaintiff had refused to take an MRI. Id.
The extent of Plaintiff’s injuries could thus only be established through Plaintiff’s subjective responses to her doctors. Thus Plaintiff’s credibility was a crucial issue to be resolved at trial. Id. It is well established that “the trier of fact is free to believe or disbelieve any witness, including an expert witness.” (cites omitted). Id. Further, a jury is free “to reject the plaintiff’s unrebutted medical expert testimony after it became clear at trial that the expert’s opinions were based primarily on the plaintiff’s subjective explanations of her symptoms and not on objective factors.” (cites omitted). Id. In the case at hand, the accident was a low-speed automobile accident. Id. The x-rays taken right after the accident did not show any injury. Id. Plaintiff’s own chiropractor testified that “such strain and sprain injuries might cause pain or might not result in any symptoms at all.” Id. Plaintiff’s treatment was that she saw her chiropractor 3 times in the first week and then failed to return until five weeks later and then did not see him again until six weeks after that. Id. Also, Plaintiff did not submit to an MRI though her own doctor scheduled her to go to one. Id.
Thus, in the case at hand, the jury did not believe Plaintiff’s subjective complaints and with no real medical objective evidence to back her up, in this low speed automobile accident crash, the jury decided not to award Plaintiff any money and this Appellate Court upheld their decision.
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky automobile accident matter, please call and speak to a Kentucky automobile 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!!!