As you proceed through the Ridgefield, 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.
One of the functions of the trial court judge is to give jury instructions to the jurors at the conclusion of your case. These charges are instructions given to the jury so they know how to apply the law of the State of Connecticut to the facts of your case. One of the issues to be decided by the jury is Damages, compensation for increased risk of injury, so the judge might charge the jury as follows:
3.4-6 Damages (Compensation for Increased Risk of Injury)-Revised to January 1, 2008: The plaintiff claims that (he/she) has suffered an increased risk of as a result of the defendant's negligence. The plaintiff is entitled to recover damages for physical harm resulting from a failure to exercise reasonable care. If the failure to exercise reasonable care increases the risk that such harm will occur in the future, the plaintiff is entitled to compensation for the increased risk. In order to award this element of damages, you must find a breach of duty that was a substantial factor in causing a present injury, which has resulted in an increased risk of future harm. The increased risk must have a basis in the evidence. Your verdict may not be based on speculation. The plaintiff is entitled to compensation to the extent that the future harm is likely to occur as measured by multiplying the total compensation to which the plaintiff would be entitled if the harm in question were certain to occur by the proven probability that the harm in question will in fact occur.
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