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Technically, a jury plays no role in a negotiated settlement. Still, speculations, with respect to a jury’s possible decision, do influence the negotiators. A negotiated settlement gets made outside of court. Regardless of that fact, one question remains in the minds of the negotiators. That question is this: What might a jury decide, if this particular case were to be tried in a courtroom?

Factors that could influence a jury

The issue of blame, if fault needs to be apportioned: Sometimes it appears possible that a non-party could be declared at least partly at-fault. However, this depends upon individual cases.

A possible ruling from the jurisdiction where a scheduled trial is taking place: In that case, the ruling might place a cap on the size of damage awards. Not all juries are aware of such a cap, when deliberating, in an effort to decide on a verdict.

Plaintiff has asked to be rewarded for future costs or for a future loss of earning opportunities. If that is the case, then someone should arrange for calculation of the expected future costs. The jury could be asked to undertake that calculation. Juries can be given actuarial tables, while any such body remains in deliberations. A jury might also receive a listing of the published interest rates.

Factor that could affect the size of a jury’s award, after deliberations have ended:

The decision about whether or not a calculated award should be reduced, due to issuance of collateral to the plaintiff. Collateral source payments are those that are made by others instead of the defendant to compensate you for the injuries sustained in an accident. An example of such payments are worker’s compensation benefits and medical insurance payouts. The judge could be aware of the need for such a reduction, but a jury would not learn about the size or existence of such reductions, until after it had selected the size of the granted compensation. As per facts, any collateral source payments are inadmissible in the court and the jury are not made aware about it as it can unfairly influence the compensation amount. Thus, it is bets to talk to your lawyer about it.

During a personal injury trial, mention might be made of one of the 2 most common sources of collateral funds. One of those might be a health insurance company. It could cover a plaintiff’s health costs, before issuance of an award. Later, the injury lawyer in Vacaville for the plaintiff would need to repay the health insurance company. The other possible collateral source might come from workers’ compensation payments, in cases where an employee got injured.

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