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Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis
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Car Accident Jury Verdicts

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Car Wreck - IB

The June, 2015 Alabama Jury Verdict Reporter is out.  There were 9 car accident cases in this edition.   Five of those were defense verdicts.  Of the four plaintiff verdicts, the total amount of all four verdicts equaled $56,000.00 or an average of $14,000.00 for the plaintiff verdicts and a total average for all 9 verdicts of $6,222.22.  If you remove one of the verdicts in the amount of $40,000.00, the average car accident verdict was $2,000.00.

Once again, these verdicts clearly illustrate a system which is set up to make it difficult to win these cases.  Most jurors do not seem to put themselves in place of the victim.  Instead, jurors now see the party being sued as the victim, and their rulings reflect as much.

One of the reasons is that insurance companies have lobbied and advertised to make it seem as though rates will go up if verdicts go up.  This is not the case.  Imagine the amount of premiums Allstate, State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, USAA, etc. are receiving monthly compared to a payout of $56,000 in verdicts?  I realize there are many settlements outside of jury verdicts, but these companies are controlling the settlements too.

They have lobbied to get the collateral source rule abolished which has reduced the values of cases (this means they can mention health insurance to the jury, but plaintiffs cannot tell the jury the defendant has car insurance).  How does this affect a case?  In a recent case an attorney tried in Federal Court, his client had a three-level neck fusion which was going to require a future surgery according to the doctor.  The medical bills were $70,000.00, and the future surgery was estimated at $21,000.00.  Unbelievably, the jury simply awarded $21,000 for the future surgery since the $70,000 had been paid.  REALLY?  Is that what two neck surgeries are worth?  You are driving down the street, and another driver isn’t paying attention and causes you to have to undergo neck surgery, and that’s it?

How many of you would be satisfied with a $21,000.00 verdict after undergoing a 3-level fusion on your neck and looking forward to a future surgery?

What are your thoughts on these issues?