In August of 2007, the Court of Appeals in Tennessee heard a case that involved a woman involved in a car accident in July of 2003 where she claimed she injured herself but there was evidence that she had a pre-existing condition. (See Hutchison v. Rutt, 2008 WL 539062 (Tenn. Ct. App.)
In Hutchinson, the Plaintiff was involved in a car accident on July 21, 2003. Id. The car was rear-ended by the defendant as the Plaintiff waited to turn. Id. The trial judge awarded the Plaintiff over $100,000. Id. The Defendant appealed claiming not all of her injuries were from this accident. This Appellate Court modified the award by half. The reasoning is as follows.
After the July 2003 car accident, Plaintiff drove herself to work. Id. While at work, Plaintiff complained of headaches and her nose began to bleed. Id. After a short while, her boss let her leave and go home early. Id. Plaintiff’s dad came to pick her up and took her to the emergency room. Id. Plaintiff was examined and told to go home.
Plaintiff then returned to work the next day and did seek further medical attention until 6 weeks after the car accident. Id. When Plaintiff met with the doctor she made complaints of headaches and right shoulder and arm pain. Id. Plaintiff saw this doctor until April 13, 2006. Id. But, during the course of treatment, Plaintiff was involved in two other car accident cases. One of the car accidents was in November of 2004 and the other car accident was on April 6, 2006. Id. Plaintiff claims she sustained whiplash as a result of the November 2006 car accident and in the second car accident, her car was totaled. Id.
This Appellate Court reviewed the record and held that “a plaintiff in a personal injury action such as this “must introduce evidence which affords a reasonable basis for the conclusion that is more likely than not that the conduct of the defendant was a cause in fact of the result.”” (cites omitted). Id. “Damages that are speculative or remote in nature are not allowed as a basis for recovery.” Id. Plaintiff claimed that the first car accident was the sole reason for her injuries and denied that either of the next two car accidents exacerbated or aggravated her conditions. Id. Evidence was entered that showed that Plaintiff prior to the July 2003 car accident had a history of migraine headaches. Id. The Plaintiff did not prove that her migraine headaches came from this car accident. Id. Thus, this Court took away that portion of her award but kept the claims for shoulder and neck injuries. 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.
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