Florida juries are being very tough on folks alleging injury in car accident cases.
I have observed a recent trend where juries are not awarding folks anything in car accident cases where the defendant admits fault for the accident.
Many folks involved in car accidents think they are entitled to money because they were not at fault for the accident. Fault or negligence is only one element that the injured person has to prove in order to be compensated in a car accident. The injured person also has to show that she was injured and that the accident, and not some past medical issue, caused the need for medical treatment.
In the recent car accident case of Hernandez v. Gonzalez, the jury awarded ZERO even though the defendants admitted that they were at fault for the crash. The accident was a rear-end collision. The plaintiffs were brought to the hospital by ambulance. They also received medical treatment for months after the crash. In the defense against one plaintiff, the insurance company argued that she received medical care for a pre-existing condition. In the defense against the other plaintiff, the defense called a witness that testified the plaintiff was giggling at the hospital. The insurance company lawyer also called a doctor who testified that they plaintiffs' injuries were not caused by the accident.
What is strange about this case is that the jury didn't even give the plaintiffs a verdict for the EMS ride to the hospital and the charges incurred at the hospital. What this tells me is that the jury had a problem with the plaintiffs' credibility.
Unless a person is severely injured in a car crash, these cases turn on the credibility of the jury. When I see verdicts like this, I think the jury just didn't find the plaintiffs credible.
What are your thoughts about this? Do you think the jury should have at least given the plaintiffs a judgment for their hospital and ambulance bills?