Stamford Car Accident Jury Charges: General Damages

Posted by Richard P. Hastings | Aug 23, 2011 | 0 Comments

As you proceed through the Stamford, Connecticut intersection where you have the right of way an elderly driver runs a red light and rams into the side of your car.  You and your passengers are injured and are taken to the hospital.  Your lives will never be the same again.

How does a jury decide on liability in any given case and what money damages are to be awarded for past medical bills, future medical care, loss of income, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium? The answer is they are charged or instructed by the judge as to how they should apply the law to the facts that they have found to be proven. Once such charge related to damages could be:

Damages - General.  The rule of damages is as follows.  Insofar as money can do it, the plaintiff is to receive fair, just and reasonable compensation for all injuries and losses, past and future, which are proximately caused by the defendant's proven negligence.  Under this rule, the purpose of an award of damages is not to punish or penalize the defendant for (his/her) negligence, but to compensate the plaintiff for (his/her) resulting injuries and losses.  You must attempt to put the plaintiff in the same position, as far as money can do it, that (he/she) would have been in had the defendant not been negligent. Our laws impose certain rules to govern the award of damages in any case where liability is proven.  Just as the plaintiff has the burden of proving liability by a fair preponderance of the evidence, (he/she) has the burden of proving (his/her) entitlement to recover damages by a fair preponderance of the evidence.  To that end, the plaintiff must prove both the nature and extent of each particular loss or injury for which (he/she) seeks to recover damages and that the loss or injury in question was proximately caused by the defendant's negligence.  You may not guess or speculate as to the nature or extent of the plaintiff's losses or injuries.  Your decision must be based on reasonable probabilities in light of the evidence presented at trial.  Injuries and losses for which the plaintiff should be compensated include those (he/she) has suffered up to and including the present time and those (he/she) is reasonably likely to suffer in the future as a proximate result of the defendant's negligence.  Negligence, as I previously instructed you, is a proximate cause of a loss or injury if it is a substantial factor in bringing that loss or injury about.

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About the Author

Richard P. Hastings

Attorney Hastings concentrates his practice on personal injury and litigation. Devoted to helping those who have suffered some type of wrong, Richard P. Hastings concentrates his law practice on personal injury law.


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