Why can't the jury be told that insurance will pay for my damages?
In most cases Texas law prohibits the jury from knowing that insurance covers the injured person’s damages. This law is a testament to the power of the insurance lobby in Texas.
Texas insurance companies want to trick juries into believing that the individual defendant will have to personally pay the verdict. Insurance companies hope that by deceiving the jury a lower verdict will result than if the jury knew the truth.
I’ve often referred to this law, even in open court, as the “jury fraud law”. This law requires us to commit fraud upon Texas juries when trying personal injury cases.
For example, if a college student causes an accident and injures another motorist and the student’s insurance company refuses to pay for the victim’s injuries and damages then we must file a lawsuit directly against the student. At trial we are required to pretend as if the college student is going to have to pay the jury verdict out of his pocket without any mention of insurance whatsoever. I usually have to explain this law multiple times to my clients because the law is so unjust that people simply cannot accept it as true without additional explanation.
The insurance companies want to use the sympathy that a jury might feel for the college student in hopes that it will result in a lower verdict. Insurance companies thus seek to use bias, prejudice, and sympathy to their favor. The insurance companies argue that if a jury knew that an insurance company was going to pay the victim’s injuries and damages that a jury would award more damages because of the bias and prejudice against insurance companies. The insurance industry is telling us that they are perfectly willing to have bias and prejudice be a part of the system but only if that bias and prejudice works in their favor.
I’ve always been an advocate of the truth. The truth is that in almost all automobile accident claims as well as other injury claims an insurance company is the real party in interest and should be present in the courtroom as a party to the case.