FOUR SHOCKING FACTS THAT A JURY IS NOT ALLOWED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR PERSONAL INJURY CASE AND HOW THE VRDOLYAK LAW GROUP IS FIGHTING TO CHANGE IT
The Vrdolyak Law Group’s dedication to winning your case extends to making sure that the law is on your side. When it is not, we do our best to change the law to support your rights! That’s exactly what we are in the process of doing, right now!
Believe it or not, it has been AGAINST THE LAW, for juries to be informed of, or have any knowledge of specific significant facts that would have helped these juries see the truth and provide a fair decision on the plaintiff’s behalf.
Here are four significant facts that the Vrdolyak Law Group is petitioning lawmakers to allow juries to have knowledge of:
INSURANCE - Currently juries cannot be informed if the defendant has insurance or not.
TICKET - Currently juries cannot be informed if the defendant was issued a ticket by the police at the scene of the accident.
FIXED OR REPAIR DEFECT - Currently juries cannot be informed if the defendant has fixed or repaired the defect which was a key aspect of the case.
SUED BEFORE - Currently juries cannot be informed if the Doctor/defendant has been sued for a similar negligence in the past.
These facts are of paramount importance to winning your case but it is against the law for juries to have ANY knowledge about them.
It is The Vrdolyak Law Group’s mission to change the law, so that it supports your rights!
Following is the actual letter that we sent to Illinois lawmakers.
A Letter to Lawmakers
THE VRDOLYAK LAW GROUP, LLC
July 12, 2011
Rep. Michael J. Madigan
Speaker of the House
300 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Sen. John J. Cullerton
327 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Dear Honorable Gentlemen:
Like you, your follow lawmakers, and many concerned citizens of the State of Illinois, we are most interested in tort reform. As a family-run law firm with nearly 50 years of legal experience, we are acutely aware of some of the issues in the areas of personal injury and medical malpractice law, which are in need of reform. In fact some of these potential reforms which I will propose below have been enacted in other states leading to beneficial and just results for their citizens. Below is a brief summary of a few such problems under current Illinois Law, along with a corresponding potential reform for your legislative consideration.
First, in a personal injury action, the plaintiff is barred from even the mention that the defendant was covered by insurance, much less that the attorney for the defendant and any judgment would be paid by said insurance company. The powerful insurance lobby has spent countless dollars not only to advance this and other laws to thwart just recoveries, but likely even more money in advertising, effectively polluting the jury pool that many, if not most, of the personal injury claims are somehow fraudulent. Merely allowing litigants in a personal injury action to mention the truth, that the defendant was covered by insurance and therefore will not lose their home or be forced into bankruptcy if a fair but substantial monetary award were to issue, would only help make the legal playing field slightly more level and lead to more justice in a legal system seemingly stacked in favor of the behemoth insurance industry and against the average injured citizen.
Second, in Illinois, police reports and the fact that a defendant was issued a traffic violation are not admissible as evidence in a personal injury action. In many cases, a defendant, who was admittedly or determined by an experienced police officer to be the negligent cause of a collision at the time, years later changes his story and claims he was not. Yet these vital traffic records, complete with description of vehicles, points of impact, witnesses, diagrams, and other findings and determinations of the reporting officer, prepared by those who are most experienced in investigating motor vehicle collisions are needlessly barred, never to be seen by a jury or given any weight whatsoever. In addition, litigants are forced to incur significant costs in having to take these vital law enforcement personnel resources away from their much needed duties to testify in a personal injury action years later in an unnecessary step that is contrary to public policy and the needs of the community. For these reasons we simply ask that these police reports and that the defendant received a moving violation on relevant grounds should be admissible into evidence.
Third, Illinois courts in premises liability actions have barred any mention that a property owner/occupier has, subsequent to the injury, repaired a defective or unsafe condition that caused injury to a plaintiff. The fundamental unfairness of such a prohibition far outweighs any potential claim of some nebulous public policy concerns. For what property owner would fail to repair a defect because a claim is made or a lawsuit is filed, for if he follows such a reckless course of inaction he or she would be opening himself up to greater and virtually assured liability for any and all subsequent injuries resulting from that unrepaired, unsafe condition. Thus the public policy argument that allowing the mention of a subsequent repair of the unsafe condition in question is merely an empty excuse to deprive those injured from getting the most critical facts before a jury of their peers.
Fourth, in the area of medical malpractice litigation, barring exceptional circumstances, a plaintiff cannot offer any evidence that a doctor has been previously sued, or was found to have violated the standard of care, even for the identical procedure. Because of this prohibition a jury would never know that a doctor performing a certain medical procedure, could have been determined to have violated the standard of care for that procedure even multiple times before the present case. Without such vital information, a jury would likely give the authority figure, the doctor, the benefit of the doubt, being completely unaware of the consistent failures of this doctor to adhere to such established medical standards. As a result, even with multiple offending doctors, the success rate of plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases is less than twenty-five percent, even though 100% of these cases require an initial determination of alleged malpractice by a doctor prior to filing a lawsuit.
We appreciate your time and thoughtful consideration of these proposed tort reforms to ensure equal justice for all, not just preferential treatment for the big insurance industry. For tort reform should not be synonymous with saving money for big business or big insurance, but should be about fundamental fairness, justice, and an honest and equitable legal system.