Additur is a little-known yet powerful court process that could help increase the total amount of damages already awarded by a jury. Here, we want to delve further in-depth into what “additur” actually is, but we encourage you to speak to your personal injury lawyer about whether or not this could occur in your case.
There are situations where a trial court has the ability to assess damages that are returned by a jury for a particular case. In these situations, the trial court could also increase the total damages that the jury awarded if the original award amount is seen as inadequate. This process is called additur.
When a jury returns an award amount that seems to be too low, at least in the eyes of the plaintiff and their attorney, they could request a new trial. New trials and appeals can take an incredible amount of time to move their way through the court system, and this is on top of the time it has already taken to get through the original trial.
However, additur is a process by which a new trial could be avoided. This process offers a way to increase the plaintiff’s jury award by avoiding the expense and time that a new trial would present. It is important to note that the consent of the plaintiff is not necessary for the additur process to move forward, but the consent of the defendant (the person paying compensation to the plaintiff) is required.
Additur is not necessarily common, but there are times when the jury award returned is wholly inadequate to the point where it could be seen as a miscarriage of justice. Additionally, this process could be used if it appears the jury was influenced by prejudice, passion, or corruption or if the jury made a mistake.
It is not uncommon to see the word remittitur used in the same phrase as additur. However, remittitur is the opposite – this refers to the process of reducing the total jury verdict award amount to an acceptable and fair level in order to avoid the cost and expense of a new trial requested by a defendant.
Individuals going through a trial where additur becomes an option will likely already have an attorney working on their case with them. The process of any type of personal injury trial or other type of claim where damages are requested is complex and difficult to handle without adequate legal assistance.
Even if you are unsure about how to handle the process of additur, that is okay. If your case has reached this possibility, your attorney will walk you through the process and let you know what to expect. If the jury returns a shockingly low award amount for your claim, you may be tempted to seek a new trial, and that may certainly be the best path moving forward. However, if the court offers the option of additur, your attorney will speak to you about the benefits of this as well. You could very well avoid the time and expense of a new trial while also receiving fair compensation.