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Court Upholds $0 Verdict Due to Dishonesty and Conflicting Causation Evidence

car wreckPersonal injury cases depend heavily on the facts of the case. These facts are typically established through witnesses, expert testimony, and documentation that supports one side’s position. If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident that was caused by the recklessness of another driver, we can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami injury attorneys have the skill and experience to handle your claim. We can gather the relevant information and aggressively pursue your case at every step of the way.

In Finkel v. Batista, a Florida court of appeal affirmed a lower court’s verdict of $0 for a plaintiff who was involved in a car wreck with the defendant, even though the jury determined that the defendant was 100 percent liable for the accident.

The defendant claimed that the damage to the plaintiff’s car was minor. An expert for the defense also stated that a minor accident of this nature could not have caused any injury to the plaintiff. The plaintiff consulted her own physician, who opined that the wreck caused the plaintiff to suffer permanent injuries.

The plaintiff, however, had not been forthright with her physician and failed to mention her prior injuries when it came time to disclose her medical history. As a result, her physician admitted during trial that if he had been aware of her prior injuries, his opinion pertaining to her injuries from the accident might have changed. The jury rendered an award of $0 for the plaintiff.

The general rule in Florida is that a plaintiff may recover medical bills for any diagnostic testing that is reasonably necessary to figure out whether the accident caused an injury. For example, if a plaintiff has back pain after a wreck, he or she may go to the doctor to determine whether that back pain was a result of the accident. There are exceptions to this rule. One of those exceptions is a lack of candor with the treating physician and differing medical opinions on the cause of the injury. Here, both exceptions applied. Thus, the original verdict was upheld.

It is also important to note that the plaintiff in this case did not object to the verdict form that invited the jury to return a verdict on an “all or nothing” basis. Under Florida law, it is well settled that a jury cannot be at fault for doing what it was instructed to do.

If you or someone close to you was injured in a car accident, it is important to seek the help and guidance of a skilled Miami car accident lawyer. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we will make every effort to get you full and fair compensation for your harm. While we aim to settle every case efficiently and effectively, we are not afraid to zealously advocate for you in the courtroom if necessary. We proudly represent clients from across South Florida. To learn more, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online today.

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