When a jury comes to a decision in a Maryland car accident lawsuit, that verdict is given great respect by the legal system. Except in the most unusual circumstances, a jury’s conclusion as to a party’s liability is insulated from judicial review. However, in some situations, a judge does retain power over the amount of a plaintiff’s jury verdict.
Maryland Rule 2-535
Under Maryland Rule 2-535, when asked by a party in the lawsuit, a court can “exercise revisory power and control over the judgment.” Essentially, this means that a judge has the power to review a jury’s award amount for reasonableness. Thus, if the court finds that an award amount was too small or too large, it can revise the award. If, after the judge comes up with a revised award amount, the party that requested the revision is not satisfied, the judge will then grant a new trial. Importantly, once a judgment becomes final, which is 30 days after it is entered, a judgment can only be revised if it is a result of “fraud, mistake, or irregularity.”
A recent case from another jurisdiction discusses a similar rule and how it applied in a car accident case in which the jury failed to consider uncontroverted evidence.
The Facts of the Case
The plaintiff was injured in a car accident with the defendant. The plaintiff filed a personal injury case against the defendant and presented evidence of medical expenses that were incurred as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident. The plaintiff also presented evidence of the pain and suffering she endured between the time of the accident and the time of trial.
At trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff, but it only awarded compensation for past and future medical expenses; no compensation was awarded for past or future pain and suffering. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the uncontroverted evidence supported a finding that she endured pain and suffering and that the court should revise the jury’s verdict to reflect that.
The appellate court agreed with the plaintiff regarding the past pain and suffering claim because the plaintiff’s evidence was not contested. However, the court rejected the plaintiff’s claim for future pain and suffering. The court explained that the defendant contested the plaintiff’s evidence of future pain and suffering and that the jury was free to disbelieve the plaintiff’s evidence and find in favor of the defendant.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers are experienced in handling all types of Maryland car accident claims, including those involving difficult insurance companies, multiple defendants, and those requiring expert witnesses. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney, call 410-654-3600.
More Blog Posts:
Court Holds Hotel May Have Voluntarily Assumed Duty to Provide Aid to Imperiled Guest, Maryland Accident Law Blog, February 15, 2018.
Court Considers Whether Maryland Plaintiff’s Case Against Nursing Home Had to Comply with Medical Malpractice Requirements, Maryland Accident Law Blog, February 1, 2018.