Texas Court of Appeals Sides With Trucker Regarding Evidentiary Ruling, Affirming Defense Verdict in Injured Pedestrian’s Lawsuit

In an east Texas auto accident case, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. Unless he or she can convince the jury, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant was negligent, he or she cannot recover money damages.

The trial court judge is tasked with determining which evidence proffered by the respective parties is admissible. Disputes often arise concerning specific pieces of evidence, including whether or not a certain witness should be allowed to testify or whether a particular document should be allowed into evidence to be considered by the jury.

A party who is aggrieved by the trial court’s decision has the right to an appeal – usually, after the case has been tried and a verdict entered.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case considered by the Court of Appeals of Texas, the plaintiff was a man who was allegedly struck by an 18-wheeler. The plaintiff and the defendant truck driver (whose employer was also named in the lawsuit) offered different versions of how the accident occurred. The testimony of several other witnesses was admitted at trial and considered by the jury, but none of these witnesses actually saw the accident.

The jury returned a take-nothing judgment in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff sought review from the court of appeals.

Decision on Appeal

The reviewing court affirmed the trial court’s entry of judgment upon the jury’s verdict. The plaintiff insisted that the trial court had abused its discretion in overruling his objection to a witness’ statement in a police report on the ground that the statement was inadmissible hearsay, but the court found no reversible error.

In so holding, the court noted that the witness whose statement was allegedly improperly admitted as part of the report also testified live at trial, thereby unequivocally clarifying that he had not seen the actual impact between the plaintiff and the truck. Insofar as there were conflicts between the evidence presented by the plaintiff and the defendant as to how the accident happened, the jury was charged with evaluating both the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses, as well as with the task of weighing the evidence and resolving the conflicts therein.

When considered in this light, the court found that the plaintiff had failed to meet his burden of demonstrating that the admission of the statement in question probably caused the rendition of an improper judgment.

Contact an East Texas Truck Accident Lawyer

If you have been hurt by a negligent trucker or trucking company, you deserve fair compensation. However, it is very unlikely that you will be offered a reasonable settlement by the trucker’s insurance company unless you prove that you are serious about getting the money damages to which you are entitled. Hiring an established east Texas truck accident attorney like Earl Drott will show the trucking company and insurance adjuster that you will not settle for a low-ball settlement offer designed to keep their profit margins high while ignoring the pain, suffering, medical expenses, and lost earnings that you suffered due to the trucker’s carelessness. Call us at 903-531-9300 to get started on your case today!

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