Most people are under the impression that the jury at a trial always gets the whole story along with every bit of information, before they make a decision. After all, when you are a witness in a case you must swear that you will “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” but is the ‘whole truth’ actually given? Unfortunately, the short answer is no. During a recent trial our firm handled, in which our client was hit by a car while walking in a parking lot, a detail that most would interpret as rather crucial, had to be left out, due to a judge’s decision, and we had to adapt our case to work without it.
Before I continue, I would like to summarize the case. As I just stated, a car struck our client while he was walking. The crucial detail that had to be left out was the fact that the driver involved had a suspended license and a number of previous offenses. After arguments back and forth, it was decided that this information would not be shared with the jury. You would think that having a suspended driver’s license would be the easiest way to prove negligence, but as it could not be shared, negligence had to be proven in other ways. Surprisingly, the driving record of the at fault driver is rarely considered because it has nothing to do with whether or not he is at fault in the specific situation.
Our client had substantial medical bills and other damages to deal with, and nowhere to turn. Cases like this one rarely make it to trial. However, this fact alone made our case unique from the start.
So what information is important to a case? Is it the information that will help prove fault, or the details that make fault harder to prove? How are the decisions about what the jury is told made? Is it just court politics, or is there logic behind which truths are used and which are left out?
Regardless of the challenges faced, our client was awarded substantial damages by the jury, which will be paid by the defense. The legal system is a complex structure of guidelines and technicalities, which take years to master. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you may need the assistance of an experienced attorney to protect your interests while defending your right to compensation for the injuries sustained, to the fullest extent of the law. Contact the Coye Law Firm for a free consultation today.