Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Illinois Personal Injury & Criminal Defense / Blog / Personal Injury / Plaintiff Appeals Damages Verdict In Car Accident Case And Wins

Plaintiff Appeals Damages Verdict In Car Accident Case And Wins


It’s more frequent that you see a damages award overturned in favor of a defendant than a plaintiff. However, one case involving a rear-end collision was successfully appealed in favor of the plaintiff.

In this case, the accident involves a rear-end collision in which the plaintiff’s head struck the steering wheel causing head, shoulder, and neck injuries. That the accident was the defendant’s fault was not before the jury. In this case, the jury’s job was to decide how extensive the plaintiff’s injuries were and whether those injuries were related to the accident or some pre-existing or post-existing condition. The plaintiff underwent surgery on her shoulder after she tore her labrum and required physical therapy.

In this case, the defendants admitted negligence and conceded that the neck injuries were the result of the accident but disputed that the accident caused the shoulder injury. The plaintiff presented a medical bill for $28,000 that included treatment for the shoulder tear. However, the jury only awarded the plaintiff damages for head and neck injuries. The defendant was awarded $12,500.

Plaintiff awarded a second trial

 In this case, the appeals court determined that the jury reached their conclusion without the defense presenting any evidence to contradict the plaintiff’s testimony that her shoulder pain was the result of the accident. The defense did cross-examine expert witnesses who testified on the plaintiff’s behalf. However, they offered no independent witnesses or experts to buttress their claim that the only injury caused by the accident was related to her neck.


Plaintiffs must establish causation to be awarded damages for an injury. The defense can usually claim that an injury was not caused by the accident but existed prior to the accident or after the accident. They generally pay for and provide expert witnesses to make this claim. In this case, the defense never sought the testimony of expert witnesses nor evaluated the plaintiff’s medical records.

The only medical evidence came from the plaintiff herself who provided medical experts who remained steadfast in their belief that the accident also caused her shoulder injury. So, the appellate court determined that the jury had no basis within the context of the trial to reach the conclusion that the plaintiff was fraudulently presenting her shoulder injury as the direct effect of the accident.

The appeals court ruled that all of the medical evidence presented at the trial supported the plaintiff’s claim that her shoulder injury was caused by the accident. The appeals court appropriately vacated the verdict and remanded the case for a second trial.

For plaintiffs, it’s important to remember that juries don’t always reach conclusions that are based in law. Some jurors bring their own preconceptions to the trial and if they’re influential, they can move the other jurors away from the facts. In those cases, appeals are appropriate. The situation is difficult for the plaintiff who must once again go through another trial.

Talk to an Illinois Personal Injury and Traffic Accident Lawyer Today 

Patel Law, PC represents the interests of those injured in car accidents. Many victims don’t know how difficult trying a personal injury case against an insurance company can be. Patel Law, PC can help you get the justice you deserve and see you compensated for all of your injuries. Call our Champaign personal injury lawyers today to learn more.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn