Texas Court Discusses Grounds for Vacating an Unfavorable Verdict in a Car Accident Case

Car accidents, unfortunately, occur with regularity in Texas, and while some are minor, many cause substantial harm. People injured in collisions have the right to pursue claims against the responsible parties, but if they fail to adequately demonstrate the crash in question was caused by another person’s negligence, their quest for justice may be denied. While there are grounds for vacating unfavorable verdicts in car accident cases, courts do not grant such requests lightly, as demonstrated in a recent Texas case, Mark Mandel v. Aaron Paul Cooper et al. (No. 06-23-00062-CV). If you were hurt in a car accident caused by someone else’s carelessness, you could be owed damages, and it is in your best interest to speak to a Texas car accident lawyer about your options.

Factual and Procedural History of the Case

It is reported that following a collision on an interstate highway, the plaintiff sued the defendant. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that the defendant, who was working for a company at the time of the accident, negligently collided with his truck. The plaintiff further contended that the defendant’s employer, the company for which the defendant was working during the collision, should also be held liable.

It is alleged that at trial, both parties presented conflicting testimonies regarding the circumstances leading to the accident. The plaintiff claimed that his truck was properly lit and safely parked on the shoulder, while the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s truck was not adequately visible, partially obstructing the roadway. The jury ultimately found that neither party was negligent, resulting in a take-nothing judgment against the plaintiff. The plaintiff appealed the trial court’s judgment, asserting multiple errors.

Grounds for Vacating an Unfavorable Verdict in a Car Accident Case

On appeal, the plaintiff first argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a new trial, contending that the jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence. However, the court found that the evidence presented at trial supported the jury’s verdict and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in overruling the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial.

Second, the plaintiff contended that he was unfairly restricted from questioning a defense expert about an unauthenticated document. The court disagreed, finding that the trial court acted appropriately in disallowing the questioning based on an unauthenticated document, as it did not meet the necessary criteria for admission into evidence.

Regarding the plaintiff’s complaint about a directed verdict in favor of the defendant’s employer, the court found no merit in the plaintiff’s argument, noting that the plaintiff himself had dismissed several claims against the employer during the trial, leaving only the claim for respondeat superior, which was already stipulated. Thus, the trial court’s actions were deemed appropriate.

Lastly, the plaintiff argued that the trial court erred in failing to grant a nonsuit against the defendant. However, the court found that the plaintiff had failed to properly preserve this issue for review, as there was no record of the plaintiff moving to nonsuit the defendant during trial.

Based on these considerations, the court affirmed the trial court’s judgment, rejecting all of the plaintiff’s arguments and upholding the original verdict.

Meet with a Trusted Texas Car Accident Attorney

If you sustained injuries in a collision brought about by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation in a civil lawsuit, and it is advisable to meet with an attorney as soon as possible. Earl Drott is a trusted Texas lawyer with the skills and experience needed to prevail in claims against reckless drivers, and if he represents you, he will work tirelessly in pursuit of the results you deserve. You can reach Mr. Drott to set up a free consultation through the online form or at 903-531-9300.

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