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Posted in Personal Injury on July 28, 2022   |  by Gary Burger

Damages in Your Case

Did you know that the damages jury instruction in Missouri says that if a jury finds for a plaintiff they “must award such sum they believe will fairly and justly compensate plaintiff for all the damages he sustained.” So, it would be inappropriate for a juror to decide not to fairly compensate someone because they have a personal or political view that personal injury damages should not be awarded or that pain and suffering damages should not be awarded. Some people think a person should only get ten cents on the dollar for their pain and suffering, or needs 85% or 95% proof, rather than 51% for pain and suffering damages. That’s ok – but those who have those beliefs ought to serve on different juries and not personal injury cases. Once potential jurors state they will require more than 51% proof or have trouble awarding pain and suffering damages, defense counsel cannot save a prospective juror by rehabilitating them through coercive leading questions. See State v. Wacaser, 794 S.W.2d 190, 192-94 (Mo. Banc 1990); see also State v. Houston, 803 S.W.2d 195, 197 (Mo. App. W.D. 1991).

Good lawyers explain these concepts to the jury and make sure everyone in the courtroom understands and is comfortable with monetary compensation to fully compensate injured people. If my great paralegal Casey works 40 hours for me in a week, it would not be fair for me to only pay her for 30 hours and say that I have a political view or a personal view that I should not fully pay her wages.

Let’s make no mistake about why the American public has these views against people who are injured, their lawyers, pain and suffering damages, and fighting for compensation for these injuries. Insurance companies and big corporations have spent millions (or billions) of dollars over the last 20 years – in commercials, newspapers, other marketing, political donations – to alter people’s opinions about injuries. It used to be that Americans fought and cared for the individual against insurance companies and big corporations. Now, because of billionaires, large corporations, and big insurance companies, people opinions have changed. This marketing continues everyday and insurance companies are right now trying to get prospective jurors to think that people who are injured shouldn’t get any money for their pain and suffering, which is ridiculous, against the law, and against American principles.

Call Burger Law at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online for help to get all the damages you deserve.