Alabama Appellate Court Reverses Judgment as a Matter of Law for Defendant in Rear End Collision Case

There are many important procedural aspects of an Alabama car accident lawsuit which can be overwhelming for the uninitated. Throughout the proceedings, there are opportunities for each party to seek a ruling from the judge that may have a substantial impact on the outcome of the case, including motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment. Ensuring that the judge rules fairly on any motions that have the ability to end the litigation is a major step in protecting your rights. At Reeves Law Firm, we will stand by you throughout the entire process and help you to obtain the outcome that you deserve.

Recently, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals considered an appeal in a car accident lawsuit. The plaintiff alleged that she was hurt when a vehicle driven by the defendant and owned by his employer crashed into the rear of the vehicle that she was driving. She sued these defendants for negligence, wantonness, and negligent entrustment of the vehicle to the employee-driver.

The jury trial began and after the plaintiff finished presenting her side of the case, the defendant moved for judgment as a matter of law on all of the claims against them. This type of motion asks the court to conclude that the plaintiff has not met the burden of proof and that based on the evidence presented, the plaintiff cannot win. The trial court granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the case. It concluded that the plaintiff’s evidence, including her own testimony, did not establish a link between the accident and the injuries that she sustained.

The plaintiff appealed on the basis that she presented substantial evidence regarding the link between the accident and her injuries and that the trial court made incorrect findings regarding whether she was a credible witness.

The appeals court reviewed the evidence presented in the record and noted that the plaintiff’s testimony was not always clear, but that the court should not have granted the defendant’s motion based on her inconsistent testimony. The jury should have been given an opportunity to determine whether the plaintiff was credible and whether to assign any weight to her testimony. In a trial, the jury’s job is to decide what the facts of the case are and which witnesses are credible. The judge decides issues of law such as whether to allow an expert witness to testify as an expert or whether certain types of evidence can be shown to the jury. Here, if the jury believed the plaintiff’s testimony, for example, it would establish a link between her injuries and the accident. Based on this, the court reversed the lower court’s order entering judgment for the defendant.

If you were hurt in a car accident, it is important to speak to a seasoned Alabama personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so that you can protect your right to compensation. We know how overwhelming this process can be, which is why we offer a free consultation to discuss your potential case and how we may be able to help you. To schedule your appointment, call us at 256-355-3311 or contact us online.

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