You may have wondered why in injury litigation, we refrain from naming the insurer in the initial action. This is why, for example, you will see spouses suing each other for crash-related injuries, rather than suing the insurance company – even if that’s ultimately the goal.
The reason has to do with the fact that courts have found that the presence or lack of an insurance policy can be prejudicial in a civil case. The thinking is that if a jury is aware that a defendant has ample insurance, they may be more likely to award much higher damages to the victim than they would if they knew the defendant has no insurance and would be personally liable to pay damages.
The courts take this matter extremely serious, which is why the Court of of Appeals of Maryland (the highest court in that state) recently affirmed a reversal of a truck injury verdict and remanded the case for a new trial for a violation of this standard. The court noted that lack of insurance coverage is irrelevant and inadmissible in a lawsuit alleging negligent hiring where the evidence doesn’t establish the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries. Continue reading ›