Not all car accidents involve two vehicles. Instead, in many cases, a car accident will, unfortunately, involve a car and a pedestrian. In many lawsuits in which a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, the driver of the vehicle will attempt to evade liability by arguing that the pedestrian caused the collision, and if the jury finds the defendant driver’s evidence to be compelling, the pedestrian may be denied compensation. This was shown in a recent Tennessee car accident case in which the court denied a plaintiff’s motion for a new trial after the jury found in favor of the defendant. If you were struck by a vehicle, it is in your best interest to retain an experienced Tennessee car accident attorney to help you protect your rights.
Factual Background and Procedure of the Case
Reportedly, the plaintiff visited Tennessee as a tourist in 2005. During her stay, she jogged along the side of a highway. She decided to cross the highway, and while she was crossing, she was struck by a vehicle driven by the defendant. The plaintiff suffered severe injuries and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserting a negligence claim. Following a trial, the jury found that the plaintiff was 80% at fault, and the defendant was 20% at fault for the accident. The plaintiff subsequently filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. The court denied the plaintiff’s motion, after which she appealed.
The Standard for Setting Aside a Jury Verdict
Under Tennessee law, a court will only set aside a jury’s findings of fact if there is no material evidence in support of the jury’s verdict. A trial judge is tasked with acting as the thirteenth juror and independently weighing the evidence to determine if it is in favor of the jury verdict. If the trial judge finds the verdict to be dissatisfactory, he or she must grant a new trial or set aside the verdict.