In August of 2013, the United States Court of Appeals of Kentucky heard a case involving a Kentucky Personal Injury Car Accident matter. The opinion is an unpublished opinion and should not be published. See Kentucky Statute RCP Rule 76.28(4) before citing. (See Elam v. Smith, 2013 WL 4508004 (Ky.App. 2013)). The injured plaintiff appealed four rulings that were made by the trial court in this Kentucky Personal Injury Car Accident case. The case involved one plaintiff, two tortfeasors, two underinsured motorist carriers, and three liability insurance carriers. Id. The injured plaintiff had spinal fusion surgery as a result of the car accident.
The accident occurred on November 5, 2005 when the plaintiff was a salesman who was in the front passenger seat of a car that was rear-ended. After the accident the injured plaintiff did not go to the hospital but returned to work. The injured plaintiff later found a Kentucky Personal Injury Car Accident lawyer and filed suit alleging negligence and seeking nearly $405,000 in medical expenses and lost wages. Id.
The Kentucky Personal Injury Car Accident jury trial began on December 19, 2011. Id. The trial was bifurcated between the contractual claims and the actual accident claims. Id. This was done by the court sua sponte. Id. This did not make plaintiff’s Kentucky Personal Injury Car Accident lawyer happy.
The trial primarily focused on the injured plaintiff’s condition of his back and whether the spinal fusion surgery he had in march of 2009 was a result of the motor vehicle accident or due to a pre-existing degenerative disk disease. Id. The jury after listening to all the evidence, which included many doctors, awarded the plaintiff only $845 for past medical expenses and $350 in lost wages. Id. It appeared the jury did not believe that the spinal fusion surgery was necessitated by the 2005 car accident. Id.
The first issue had to with the bifurcating of the trials. This appellate court upheld the lower court’s ruling and found that there was no error in bifurcating the tort and contract claims. Id.
Next, was an issue as to the use of medical reports during trial. The plaintiff acknowledges that the reports were hearsay but argued that does not make them inadmissible because an expert may rely upon hearsay to form his opinion. Id. But, the doctor who was going to look at the inadmissible reports never did state that he relied on the reports to form his opinion. The doctor also never stated that the reports in question were the types that he would normally rely on in forming his opinion. Thus, there was no error in keeping them out.
Next, the lost wages issue was not properly before the court.
Finally, the issue as to the amount of damages awarded to the Kentucky Personal Injury Car Accident plaintiff was brought up. But, the court upheld the jurors award or lack thereof as to the 2005 MRI. Also, “the law in Kentucky… does not require a jury to award damages for pain and suffering in every case in which it awards medical expenses. (cites omitted).
If you have been the subject of a Kentucky Personal Injury Car Accident case, please call and speak to a Kentucky Personal Injury Car Accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Andrew Alitowski, P.A. at 888-ASK-ANDREW (888-275-2637) or contact us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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