Even after a jury’s verdict in a car crash accident case, the trial judge in Virginia can change the amount though what are known as "Additur" and "Remittitur," as defined in yesterday’s post. The Abrams Landau law firm won a recent car accident jury trial where the insurance defense lawyers are seeking to reduce the jury’s verdict by requesting Remittitur by the Alexandria Circuit Court Judge. This may seem like a surprising amount of power the judge has—after all, if the judge has the power to change the verdict, the jury seems kind of pointless. But, it’s important to keep in mind that these tools, the power of the judge, is limited and will not be used in every case. Here are some things to know about additur and remittitur in Virginia:
First, the judge can only adjust the dollar amount when it is excessively low or high; we expect the jury to give a reasonable amount of recovery and the judge is there to make sure the jury does that.
Second, you, the plaintiff, always have the right to state your disagreement with the judge’s decision to change the amount of your recovery. Your disagreement has two possible consequences: (1) it may require–if you choose–an appellate judge to review the decision; or (2) it may require an entirely new trial to be held.
Third, under Virginia’s rules, your opponent, the defendant, can object to an increase in the dollar amount. That objection may result in a new trial.
Despite these seemingly complex rules and procedures, it’s important to always keep in mind that both additur and remittitur are designed to make sure that you and the defendant are treated fairly even after the verdict is announced. But more than that, they are in place to make sure that your individual case actually comes to a close in a timely manner and with the need of only one trial. At the Landau Law Shop, we routinely discuss with our clients the time and expenses of post-trial motions, appeals and re-trying the same motor vehicle, truck accident or motorcycle cases.