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Settlement Discussions in Your Indiana Personal Injury Case

Posted by Guy DiMartino | Feb 01, 2015 | 0 Comments

You were injured in a Northwest Indiana car accident or slip and fall and your case has been going on for a while. The insurance company has offered you settlement money at least 5 times but it isn't enough. The trial is set for next week.

Wouldn't it be easy for your attorney to tell the jury that the defendant's insurance company has already offered 50,000 to settle your case but you think the case is worth 100,000? This brings up the question, will the jury in your personal injury case hear about settlement negotiations between you and the insurance company?

It would seem logical and straight forward for you to get on the witness stand and tell the jury about your injuries, how the accident has impacted your life and why you believe your case is worth more than the fifty grand already offered by the insurance company.

This strategy and procedure would make your jury's job a little easier. But guess what. It isn't going to happen. Your jury will never learn about any settlement discussions with the insurance company. Why? Because Indiana's evidence rules do not allow the jury to learn about any settle discussions. Specifically, Rule 408 says:

Compromise Offers and Negotiations

Prohibited Uses. Evidence of the following is not admissible on behalf of any party either to prove or disprove the validity or amount of a disputed claim or to impeach by a prior inconsistent statement or a contradiction:

  • furnishing, promising, or offering, or accepting, promising to accept, or offering to accept a valuable consideration in order to compromise the claim; and
  • conduct or a statement made during compromise negotiations about the claim. Compromise negotiations include alternative dispute resolution.

The fact that a jury will never learn about what happened before trial is one of he risks of going to trial. Juries can be unpredictable and you never know what a jury is going to do with your case.

If you have any questions about a Northwest Indiana accident call us immediately at (219) 874-4878.

About the Author

Guy DiMartino

I have loved helping people in need for almost three decades.  It has been my privilege to serve people as their pastor, chiropractor, and lawyer.  The current focus of my legal practice and life’s passion is helping the seriously injured receive complete compensation for their injuries. I am a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney. What that really means is that I am no stranger to the courtroom.  I have successfully tried and handled serious cases in state and federal courts.  My backgrounds in both law and chiropractic medicine have given me a unique perspective, extensive knowledge, and wide experience to serve those I represent. For years as a chiropractic physician, I treated my patients to alleviate their pain and suffering. Now as their lawyer, I fight to bring them financial compensation for their pain and suffering. During my years of service, I have handled many traumatic injury cases ranging from the traumatic amputation of a limb to brain and spinal cord injury.  I consider it an honor to serve you and your family. When a person entrusts me and I accept to represent them, I don’t take that relationship and responsibility lightly. My approach is that we work as a team. We are partners and our goal is the best outcome for you and your family with the highest level of communication throughout. I am always available by phone or email to discuss my potential representation of your injury case. I handle cases throughout Florida. Education: National University of Health Sciences – BS (1984), DC (1986) Valparaiso University School of Law – JD, summa cum laude (1999) Bar Admissions: Florida (2000), Indiana (1999), Illinois (2000, expired); US District Courts of Appeals (11th Circuit, 7th Circuit); United States District Courts: Southern and Middle Districts of Florida; Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; Northern and Central Districts of Illinois; and District of Colorado. Certification:  Civil Trial, Florida Bar Guy DiMartino on Google+ – Circle Guy on Google+ Guy DiMartino on Google+

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