Articles Posted in Car Accidents

In some instances, a person injured in a car accident will be not only able to pursue claims against the driver that caused the accident but also against other parties that negligently entrusted the driver with the vehicle involved in the accident. If a plaintiff fails to produce sufficient evidence to prove negligent entrustment, though, the defendant may be able to request that a court grant judgment in its favor via a directed verdict. In a recent opinion, a Tennessee court explained a defendant’s recourse when a court denies a defendant’s motion for a directed verdict and the defendant fails to file a timely appeal in a case arising out of a collision. If you suffered injuries due to a car crash, you could be owed substantial damages, and it is advisable to speak to a capable Tennessee car accident attorney as soon as possible.

Facts and Procedural History

It is alleged that the defendant driver struck the plaintiff while she was jogging. The plaintiff suffered significant injuries and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant driver, setting forth negligence claims. She named the driver’s mother as a defendant as well, arguing that she negligently entrusted the driver with the vehicle he was operating during the accident and that she was vicariously liable for the harm he caused. The court dismissed the vicarious liability claim against the defendant mother via summary judgment, and the remaining claims proceeded to trial.

It is reported that, at the close of the plaintiff’s case, the defendant mother moved for a directed verdict on the negligent entrustment claim. The trial court denied her motion, and the court ultimately found in favor of the plaintiff. She did not file a post-trial motion but later appealed the court’s judgment against her, arguing it erred in failing to grant her motion for a directed verdict. The plaintiff argued the defendant mother waived her right to appeal.

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It is not uncommon for a car accident to be caused by multiple factors. For example, in many instances, a crash will be brought about by a combination of inclement weather and reckless driving. When a collision is caused by the injured party’s negligence, however, it can preclude the recovery of damages. This was demonstrated in a recent Tennessee car accident case in which the court upheld a verdict in favor of the defendant due to the jury’s finding that the plaintiff was sixty percent at the fault for the crash.  If you were injured in a collision, it advisable to consult a skillful Tennessee car accident attorney to determine whether you may be owed compensation.

Factual History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff and the defendant were involved in a collision in the parking lot of a shopping center. The plaintiff sustained injures in the accident, after which he filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging a claim of negligence. The case was tried in front of a jury, who found that the plaintiff was sixty percent at fault for the accident. Thus, pursuant to Tennessee’s comparative negligence law, the jury issued a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff filed a motion for a new trial, which the court denied. The plaintiff then appealed, arguing that the jury’s finding was against the weight of the evidence. On appeal, the jury’s verdict was affirmed.

Comparative Fault in Tennessee

Under Tennessee law, allocation of fault is an issue of fact to be determined by a jury. Thus, when a jury’s finding of fault is called into question, a court reviewing the matter will only set aside the jury’s verdict if it finds a complete lack of material evidence in support of the verdict. In determining whether such evidence exists, a court will take the strongest view of the evidence that supports the verdict and assume it to be truthful. The court will also allow all reasonable inferences to sustain the verdict and discard any evidence that disfavors the verdict. Continue reading ›