Insurance Doesn’t Want You to Know that “Nuclear Verdicts” Aren’t Real

 In In the News, Personal Injury

“Nuclear verdicts” have been a hot topic in the media for more than a decade, but the truth is, they’re not real. Another truth: insurance companies invented the term “nuclear verdict” in an attempt to reduce payouts to injured people and their own policyholders.

The term caught on, and as a result, people started accepting far less compensation than they deserved, partly out of fear that they would be complicit in an “illegal” scheme to get more money, and partly because insurance companies convinced them that lawyers are just money-hungry semi-criminals.

Attorneys calculate proposed damages awards based on intensive research, client medical bills and associated costs, and other calculable factors. When a case goes to court, damages are awarded by the judge or jury based on the evidence presented in court.

If they don’t agree that the verdict is fair and just, they won’t award it. Even if the judge or jury awarded an amount that was more than the victim should receive, a Court of Appeal can lower the award.

Bottom line: there is no such thing as a nuclear verdict–the U.S. legal system wouldn’t allow them to exist. At the end of the day, the award is always based on the evidence presented in Court.

Jurors Don’t Award “Nuclear Verdicts” – They Award What the Plaintiff Deserves.

A real-life attorney would never ask for more compensation as damages than they believe their client deserves. And the jury wouldn’t allow for “excessive” verdicts, anyway – jurors are instructed on what “fair and just” compensation looks like, and they award plaintiffs with an amount they have agreed is fair and just.

It’s not just one person who decides that an award is fair – the jury will reach a conclusion together.

Even if a damages award seems “high” when you read about it in the newspaper, you must remember that the jury has deliberated and found that the amount is fair and just, and that the jury not only heard from the plaintiff’s attorney, but the defendant’s attorney as well.

Want to know more about nuclear verdicts? Call us.

You may think it strange that a personal injury attorney in Lake Charles, LA would discuss predatory plaintiff techniques, but we believe it’s important to uphold the integrity of the legal system and talk about misconceptions about the law. 

If you have any questions about nuclear verdicts, please call our firm at (337) 433-1414 today.

Kilburn Landry
Attorney Specialty in Personal Injury
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