East Texas Appellate Court Reviews Damages Award in Truck Accident Case – Jackson v. Gould

blue truckThe most common issues in appellate court opinions arising from car wreck, truck crash, and motorcycle collision cases revolve around duty, breach of duty, damages, and causation. With regard to damages, both personal property damage and compensation for physical injuries may be disputed at trial and on appeal.

A recent appellate decision dealt with another possible element of damages in a car accident case:  the loss of use of the automobile of the non-at-fault driver, particularly whether the driver could recover for both the loss of use of his own vehicle and rental charges for a temporary replacement vehicle.

Facts of the Case

In the case of Jackson v. Gould, the plaintiff was a man who filed suit against the defendants, a truck driver and his employer, after the truck driver struck the motorist’s car while negotiating a turn. Prior to the accident, the truck driver had steered his rig around a parked utility truck but left a portion of the truck in the opposing lane of traffic. As he pulled forward to make a turn, one of his rear wheels struck the plaintiff’s automobile. The 333rd District Court of Harris County, Texas, entered judgment for the plaintiff, and the defendants appealed.

Decision of the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas

The appellate court affirmed in part and reversed in part. With regard to the first error claimed by the defendants, to the effect that the evidence at trial was insufficient to support the trial court’s determination of liability, the court disagreed with the defendants and affirmed the lower court’s decision. In so holding, the court noted that the last-clear-chance doctrine had been abolished in Texas but found that the trial court did not apply that law to the facts herein. An apparent “passing reference” to the doctrine did not affect the trial court’s judgment.

In their second issue on appeal, the defendants argued that the trial court abused its discretion in overruling their objection to the plaintiff’s property damage claim. The appellate court found that the defendants had waived this issue by failing to make a timely objection and obtain a ruling at trial.

The defendants’ third issue on appeal was that the trial court had granted a double recovery to the plaintiff because it had allowed him to recover for both the rental value of his damaged vehicle and the loss of use of the vehicle. The court sustained this issue, holding that recovery for both rental car expenses and loss of use was redundant.

An East Texas Car Accident Attorney to Review Your Case

If you have been hurt because of the negligence or recklessness of a professional truck driver or trucking company, a skillful east Texas truck accident lawyer at the Law Office of Earl Drott, P.C., can help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. Call us at (903) 531-9300 for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout east Texas, including in Smith County, Tyler, and the surrounding area.

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