The fact is, most Massachusetts car accident cases settle out of court, even though the litigants in such cases have a right to have a jury decide the merits of their claims (and defenses). There are many reasons for this, including the costliness and time involved in a jury trial. Additionally, when a case settles, both parties have a say in the outcome, while jury trials involve considerable risk and a lack of predictability.
Facts of the Case
In a recent (unreported) case, the plaintiff was a man who was injured when a vintage “muscle car” slid off a flatbed trailer that was traveling in front of him on the Massachusetts Turnpike in 2011. The plaintiff filed a negligence lawsuit against the owner of the car, and the case proceeded to a jury trial. The jury found that the defendant was not negligent. The plaintiff appealed, asking the court of appeals to find that he should have been granted a mistrial due to the opening statement of the defendant’s attorney, that the trial court should have instructed the jury on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, and that he should have been given a new trial after the jury’s verdict in favor of his opponent.