Understanding the U.S. Jury System: What a Juror is Not Supposed to Know

The jury system frequently is portrayed on television programs as well as in films. While these productions do provide people with a glimpse at how a jury works, these portrayals are not always accurate. For example, when viewing these televisions shows and movies, a person might not realize that there are certain things that a member of a jury cannot know about. This reality exists in both criminal and civil cases.

Typically, before a claim seeking compensation for an injury caused by the negligence of someone else reaches the point that a trial commences, the parties to the dispute have spent what may very well have been a considerable amount of time in settlement negotiations. Through the settlement process, both sides in a case likely have proposed different dollar amounts in an attempt to reach a resolution of the case.

Members of a jury cannot be told about the settlement negotiations between the parties. For example, the attorney for an insurance company defending a claim cannot tell the jury that the insurer attempted to settle the claim or case with the injured person for a certain amount of money. Similarly, the attorney for the injured individual cannot tell the jury of his or her attempts at settling the case prior to the trial.

In addition to being prohibited from disclosing settlement negotiations, a jury additionally cannot be advised of the existence of insurance. For example, the attorney for the defendant in a personal injury lawsuit cannot tell the jury that the plaintiff received certain payments from an insurance company to cover some of the medical expenses incurred as the result of the accident. For example, some of the plaintiff’s medical care and treatment may have been covered by that individual’s health insurance policy in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Again, that information cannot be provided to a jury.

If you or a member of your family is dealing with the aftermath of an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, contact the experienced accident attorneys at Harding & Associates. We will schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with you to discuss your case. An appointment can be scheduled at your convenience by calling us at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500.

Dealing with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company: Addressing Preexisting Conditions

A common problem following an automobile accident is the aggravation of a preexisting condition. In addition, a person may be more susceptible to being injured because of some sort of preexisting medical condition. If this describes you, and you recently have been in an accident, you may be wondering how to address your preexisting condition when it comes to dealing with an insurance claim. Specifically, you may be wondering what to do in regard to a preexisting condition when dealing with the other driver’s insurance automobile insurance company.

Following an accident, the other driver’s insurance company will contact you to take your statement. You need to appreciate that there exists no legal requirement for you to make any statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Moreover, as will be discussed a bit more in a moment, your interests are best served by engaging the services of an experienced personal injury attorney, like those on the legal team at Harding & Associates, before you ever consent to making any type of statement to the other driver’s insurance company.

With these points understood, your initial inclination may be to avoid talking about a preexisting condition. If you are like most consumers, you have hear stories of insurance companies denying claims for injuries based on the contention that the problem predated the accidents in question. While this is a possible scenario, it most definitely is not common. The reality is that very, very few people ever attempt to file a claim following an accident to obtain compensation for an injury or problem that occurred before the incident. The vast majority of people who file claims are merely trying to get the moneyh they are due.

What understandably is not readily apparent to most people is that the existence of a pre-existing condition actually is not a detriment to any claim you may need to file arising out a car accident. Because you may more easily be injured because of a pre-existing condition, because your injuries may end up being more extensive following a car accident because of a pre-existing condition, an at-fault driver and his or her insurance company may bear even greater responsibility for your injuries and damages.

If you do have pre-existing conditions, and have been involved in a car accident through no fault of your own, please call Harding & Associates to get a better picture of your rights and interests in this regard. We can be reached at 800-878-7888 or 303-762-9500. There is never a charge for an initial consultation with a skilled, experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and assist in developing a strategy to fight to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.