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Is the Jury’s Verdict Final in a Florida Personal Injury Case?

When a party is injured due to the allegedly negligent act of another person, company, or government entity, the injured party can seek compensation for their injuries through a South Florida personal injury lawsuit. Many of these cases are resolved in pre-trial settlement negotiations, with less than 5% of cases proceeding to trial. The reason most cases settle before reaching trial is because the parties involved prefer the certainty of agreed-upon negotiations rather than the uncertainty of a jury trial.

CourtroomIn addition to a jury trial being an uncertainty, once a jury enters a verdict in favor of a party, it is usually final. There are several exceptions, however. The first exception is if the judge overseeing the trial makes a legal error. For example, if a judge prevents a certain key witness from testifying or makes an erroneous legal ruling, the party against which that ruling was made can appeal that specific issue to a higher court. If that party is successful on appeal, the case will usually get remanded back to the lower court with instructions on how to proceed.

Another exception to the general rule of finality is in a post-trial motion arguing that the jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence. These motions, brought after both parties have closed and the jury has entered a verdict, argue that the jury came to the wrong conclusion given the evidence presented.

Under Florida law, it is difficult for a party to establish that a jury’s verdict was against the weight of the evidence. This is because the moving party must show that there was no basis for the verdict in the evidence presented at trial. A recent opinion from a Florida appellate court affirmed this standard when it reversed a judge’s decision to grant the plaintiff a new trial. The appellate court concluded that there was conflicting evidence at trial, and the jury was within its right to find against the plaintiff.

What Does It Take to Reverse a Jury’s Verdict?

Under Florida law, a judge can enter a judgment that is contrary to a jury’s verdict only when there is a “clear, obvious, and indisputable showing” that the jury’s verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Normally, this would require the jury to base its decision on evidence that did not exist or was not presented at trial. While these motions are rarely granted, they do act as a check on a jury’s ability to discriminate or base its decision on impermissible grounds.

Have You Been Injured in a Florida Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a South Florida accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a South Florida personal injury lawsuit. The skilled attorneys at the law firm of Cecere Santana have extensive experience representing victims in a wide range of Florida personal injury cases. We stand up for our clients’ rights from the moment the case is filed up through the jury’s verdict. We will also file post-trial motions or appeals if necessary. Call 800-753-5529 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today to discuss your case.

More Blog Posts:

Florida Car Accident Plaintiff’s Non-Compliance with Contractual Term Not a Basis for Dismissal Due to Defendant’s Failure to Object, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published October 25, 2017.

Cecere Santana Can Help with Hurricane Irma Property Insurance Claims, Cecere Santana Injury Lawyers Blog, published October 12, 2017.

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