Juries Don’t Know Whether or Not a Defendant Has Insurance

Jury trials in work injury cases

One of the frustrating aspects of being an injury attorney in Indiana is that when we present cases to a jury we are not allowed to tell a jury that a defendant has insurance.  If we have a defendant in an injury case that is a homeowner, motorist, or any other type of non-business entity, a jury may have sympathy for the defendant, thinking that the defendant will have to pay a jury award out of his or her own pocket.

Case law basis for not disclosing insurance

In Indiana, evidence that a defendant has insurance is not something a jury can be told.

Why not? 

Case law suggests that it is prejudicial for a defendant because a jury will know that the money will come from insurance companies and many jury members may have a pre-disposition against insurance companies. This may influence how reluctant or willing they are to determine an award/penalty.

As a result, when we present your case to a jury and the defendant is not a business, but is an individual, motorist, homeowner, etc., that jury cannot know that that individual has insurance that will cover any verdict.

How does this impact the cases an injury attorney accepts?

Because juries aren’t privy to any knowledge about whether or not a defendant has insurance, most attorneys will not pursue a case against an individual who doesn’t have insurance.  Practically, attorneys will only pursue cases against defendants with insurance.

If you have any questions about this topic, please call one of the attorneys at Klezmer Maudlin.  The attorneys at Klezmer Maudlin are conveniently located throughout the state of Indiana.  With offices in EvansvilleIndianapolisLafayetteNew Harmony, and Jeffersonville (Louisville, KY), we are well-equipped to handle your case.

 

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