People involved in car crashes will often pursue claims from the parties they deem responsible for the collision. In order to recover damages, though, a plaintiff in a car accident case must not only demonstrate fault for the crash, but they must also show that the crash proximately caused them to suffer actual losses. If they cannot establish both liability and damages, they may be denied compensation, as demonstrated in a recent New York ruling issued in a car accident case. If you were injured in a collision, you should meet with a Syracuse personal injury attorney to discuss what evidence you must produce to obtain a favorable outcome.
The History of the Case
It is alleged that the plaintiff was driving a vehicle when he was struck from behind by a truck owned by the defendant postal service and operated by one of its drivers. The plaintiff subsequently commenced a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant, alleging that the accident caused him to suffer significant harm. The case proceeded to a bench trial, after which the judge issued a verdict in favor of the defendant on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to show that his injuries were caused by the accident. The plaintiff appealed.
Establishing Damages in a Car Accident case
On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. It explained that it reviews a district court’s ruling that was the subject of an appeal for clear error and examines its legal conclusions de novo. Pursuant to the clear error standard, there is a strong presumption that the trial court’s findings are fact and should be upheld, and the presumption will not be disturbed absent a firm and definite conviction that the court has made a mistake.
Specifically, the courts offer considerable deference to the district court’s assessments of credibility. As such, if a district court’s factual findings are based on its decision to credit a witness’s testimony, and the witness has offered a plausible and cogent story that is not contradicted by objective evidence, the district court’s findings will rarely be deemed clear error.
In the subject case, the court found that the plaintiff failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that his injuries were caused by the collision. While the plaintiff disagreed with that conclusion, the court found that it was wholly supported by the testimony from the defendant’s medical expert. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.
Meet with a Trusted Syracuse Personal Injury Attorney
Parties that are hurt in car accidents will often pursue claims against the driver responsible for their harm, but unless they can prove liability and damages, their claims may be denied. If you sustained injuries in a car accident, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to discuss what compensation you may be able to recover. The trusted Syracuse personal injuryattorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers are skilled at helping people hurt in accidents recover redress for their harm, and if you hire us, we will diligently pursue the best result possible under the facts of your case. You can reach us via our form online or by calling us at 833-200-2000 to set up a conference.