In an auto accident trial, can you inform the jury in any way that the at-fault driver had insurance? I have a hard time believing a jury would award 7-figure damages if they thought the little old lady defendant had to personally pay. I’m just starting to do PI on the side by myself at my firm, so this is probably a very dumb and obvious question.

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Nope. It would be a mistrial

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That would be a huge no-no in NJ.

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Jesus, no. Automatic mistrial and loss of down. 🤦🏽‍♀️

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This is a cardinal sin. Immediate mistrial. There are some sneaky ways to strongly infer the defendant is insured but even that is risky and certainly not proper etiquette

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I should add that during jury selection I’ve seen some attorneys ask if they know anyone that works for an insurance company. Just so they can start thinking about it. Not great etiquette but again you might be able to go this route

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Immediate mistrial. Arguably the most egregious too and run the risk of judge going nuts on you.

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Absolutely not, but sort of - you can ask about it during jury selection (a little bit of a loophole)

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I’ve injected to that line of voir dire and had it sustained here in CA. I’ve also been in front of judges that have sanctioned attorneys who’ve tried it after being warned.

And just hope that liability didn’t offer limits and gets stuck with the excess verdict (depending on jurisdiction)

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Depending on the facts you can sometimes make it obvious and level the playing field, but like the other comments pointed out it is grounds for a mistrial if you bring it up. Very very limited exceptions where good lawyering can give you that small window of opportunity.

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The only dumb questions are the one you don’t ask. Typically no, you cannot mention insurance, with the very rare exceptions of when they’re denying things like ownership/control of the vehicle or something.

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If you're in NY there is a CPLR jury selection question you ask verbatim about whether they, a family member, or anyone they know works for an insurance company or adjusts insurance. If you Google it, it will come up

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If you have a jury instruction regarding not being able to consider insurance, use that, to get auto insurance in their minds.

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Check your jurisdiction. Lookup something called the collateral source rule. Generally, the answer is no, but it’s also a bad idea to get legal advice from social media services.

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no

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Yes….if you want an immediate mistrial

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I’ve also seen plaintiff attorneys cross defense experts re: how much State Farm pays them a year for expert work.

That’s out of Bounds in CA and a MIL on the topic gets granted nearly 100% of the time.

Absolutely not

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