It has been said, “Some surgeries are “minor” – that is until the doctor starts cutting on you.” As thought-provoking as this saying is, under Georgia trial practice law, the spirit of that message is prohibited from being raised for a jury’s consideration at trial by a plaintiff’s lawyer. Stated another way, in Georgia the attorney for an injured party is not permitted to deliver a “Golden Rule” argument to a jury. The unfounded fear behind this nonsense rule is that juries applying the principle of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” might yield unusually high verdicts for injured parties out of pure sympathy. If you sit on a jury, however, it is perfectly natural to consider how you would feel if it was your life that had been altered by another person’s negligence. Using life experiences and collective common sense, a jury should consider the permanent reality a plaintiff faces once trial is over (and jury duty has ended) and the plaintiff has to carry on with life.
Despite this truth, the prohibition of the Golden Rule argument is but one of many procedural obstacles that can (and often will) obscure the truth about a person’s desperate situation in a personal injury matter. In actuality, there are a number of things about which a jury is forbidden from knowing or considering. In the end, this ultimately harms plaintiffs, benefits defendants and confounds jurors when, only after trial while discussing the case with a plaintiff’s attorney, they learn the real truth that was kept from them (such as the defendant’s prior/subsequent bad conduct, the insurance company’s low-ball settlement offer strategy, the history of claims and litigation involving the defendant and other evidence the judge elected to keep out of the case).
The Dow Firm P.C. is dedicated to knowing the law and representing good people in Georgia with legitimate personal injury/death claims against the insurance industry and the wrongdoers involved. Please contact us for a free consultation and case analysis here or call our Brunswick, GA office at (912) 264-1919.