If you have been called up for jury duty, you might know what to expect. Serving on a jury isn’t like it is portrayed in the movies or on TV shows. There are some misconceptions about a jury’s role in a personal injury case, so here is a rundown of what a juror would need to know:
The jury will not know if the defendant has insurance coverage, and if they do find out, they will not know the coverage amounts. The judge and lawyers cannot mention the insurance coverage and the amounts. But, in general, if a claim advances to court the defendant will be insured because a personal injury attorney will not put time and effort in a claim unless there is a source from which they can recover compensation.
The Defendant in a Personal Injury Claim
The insurance company of the defendant will hire an attorney, will decide when to settle and how much to settle for, and will make most of the decisions when the case is being litigated. Usually, the defendant himself or herself has very little say in how the case proceeds. Decisions about whether to settle and for how much is made by insurance company.
When you file a lawsuit against the liable party, it doesn’t guarantee that your case will advance to court and be heard by a jury. In most cases, personal injury attorney would rather a judge decide the outcome of an accident injury claim rather than it be decided by a jury. Many jurors are skeptical of accident claims and suspect the injuries aren’t as serious as claimed, so the jury often refuses to give a fair settlement for legitimate injuries for different reasons.
Usually, when there is a personal injury claim, there is a jury because it is requested by defendant’s insurer. This is because juries are much more likely to not award compensation or will award less compensation than requested. It is imperative that you – as the plaintiff – have an experienced personal injury attorney representing you should your accident injury claim advance to the jury level.
For a consultation with a personal injury lawyer in the Portland/Vancouver metro area, call the Harlan Law Firm. With experience representing accident victims on all levels, including before a jury. Get your free case review today.