Things Every Juror Should Know But Doesn't

Serving clients in Gadsden and Nearby Areas of Alabama

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As a Gadsden Lawyer, I often wonder what result a jury would reach if they knew all the facts. Yes, you read that right. In almost every trial, facts are hidden from jurors. The rules of evidence prohibit certain evidence from being introduced to a Jury at trial and those rules often provide an unfair advantage to the Defendants and their insurance company at trial. Because one of the areas we practice as Gadsden lawyers is in the field of personal injury, I’m going to start there and use an automobile accident case as an example.

Let’s assume that the Plaintiff was injured in an accident after the Defendant’s vehicle ran a red light and struck the Plaintiff’s vehicle. The Defendant had $50,000 in automobile insurance coverage through UNSAFEWAY Insurance Company. During the accident, the Plaintiff suffered a knee injury from his knees hitting the dash and had some other injuries as well. The Plaintiff undergoes surgery on his knee which is followed up by physical therapy. The Plaintiff tries to do the honorable thing and work it out with the Defendant’s insurance company without filing a lawsuit. However, the Plaintiff is unable to get a fair offer from the UNSAFEWAY Insurance and hires a lawyer.

After being hired, the Plaintiff’s lawyer submits all records, bills and supporting documentation and tries, once again, to work the matter out without filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately, UNSAFEWAY Insurance still does not make a fair offer. Eventually the Plaintiff’s lawyer is forced to file suit because UNSAFEWAY Insurance still will not offer a fair and settlement. In the meantime, you’re selected as a juror and wind up sitting as a juror on this case. Did you know that as a juror, you will never know about these facts?

You may be surprised to know that the Plaintiff’s lawyer cannot tell jurors at trial that the Defendant has automobile insurance and that UNSAFEWAY Insurance will be the ones paying any judgment you award the Plaintiff for his Injuries. Did you know that because the Defendant has insurance, that the Defendant will probably never have to personally pay anything? Why is this important? It’s simple. As a juror, you will be very hesitant to give the Plaintiff the full amount he deserves because you’re also concerned that if you give the Plaintiff the full amount he deserves, then you might financially devastate the Defendant.

What’s also disturbing is that the lawyer who is representing the Defendant at trial and who has spent the entire trial trying to “play down” the Plaintiff’s injuries is being paid a large hourly fee by UNSAFEWAY Insurance to convince you to award the Plaintiff as little money as possible. This is also the same lawyer who has argued to the Court that the jury doesn’t have the right to know how the Plaintiff and his lawyer tried, over and over, to get UNSAFEWAY Insurance to simply pay a fair settlement and that filed suit only after UNSAFEWAY refused to do the right thing.  

If you’re a juror in an accident case, you should usually assume that the Defendant has insurance coverage to pay for any amount you award the Plaintiff in the case. Think about it. If there was not insurance coverage, the Plaintiff’s lawyer probably would not have accepted the case and been willing to take the case to trial if there is no source of insurance or money from which to recover.  

Things like this are the reason you need a competent Gadsden Lawyer to represent you if you’re involved in an accident. An experienced Gadsden Lawyer can help you combat these unfair advantages that insurance companies have when you’re trying to recover money for your injuries. To meet with one of our Gadsden Lawyers for a free consultation, call our office at 256-547-4988.