What Are Jurors Not Told?
When a trial occurs, the people responsible for determining a verdict – the jury – are allowed to consider certain information while other information is inadmissible in court. What information is allowed is governed by the rules of evidence. The rules of evidence are specific in stating what is and what is not allowed to be presented to the jurors. It is up to your attorney to understand the intricacies of the rules of evidence to determine what facts are relevant in your case and the plan to get those facts in front of the jury at the time of trial.
What Types of Facts Are Not Allowed?
There are a wide variety of things that are excluded when it comes to trials. Some of the most common are liability insurance, health insurance, and subrogation amounts in regards to repayment of medical bills. Case-related expenses and attorney fees are also not presented to the jury. If medical bills are involved in the case, attorneys are required to redact/remove health insurance information, so it does not impact the case. While jurors may often believe that health insurance is paying the bills, the jurors are not told that the health insurance company receives the first payment from any judgment or settlement.
An Example in Action
Take, for example, a car wreck. Jurors are not told – and it cannot be introduced into evidence – whether there is car insurance or how much insurance the at-fault driver has. The logic behind this is that insurance is not relevant to who ran the red light that caused the wreck. If there is an injury caused by the car wreck, there are two main issues at play. First, who is at fault?
Second, what are the harms and losses caused during the incident? These considerations, not whether there the at-fault driver has insurance, are what a jury must determine. A jury cannot make their decision based on knowing whether the at-fault driver can pay what the determined amount.