Jury Instructions-Example 1 for Car Accident Case

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.01 Preliminary Cautionary Instructions

[1] Now that the evidence has concluded, I will instruct you as to the law and your duties.

[2] The law regarding this case is contained in the instructions I will give to you. You must consider the Court's instructions as a whole, not picking out some instructions and disregarding others.

[3] It is your duty to resolve this case by determining the facts based on the evidence and following the law given in the instructions. Your verdict must not be based upon speculation, prejudice, or sympathy. My rulings, remarks or instructions do not indicate any opinion as to the facts.

[4] You will decide what facts have been proven. Facts may be proven by evidence or reasonable inferences drawn from the evidence. Evidence consists of the testimony of witnesses and of exhibits admitted by the court. You should consider all the evidence without regard to which party produced it. You may use common sense gained from your experiences in life, in evaluating what you see and hear during trial.

[5] You are the only judges of the credibility of the witnesses. You will decide the weight to be given to the testimony of each of them. In evaluating the credibility of a witness, you may consider that witness ability and opportunity to observe, memory, manner, interest, bias, qualifications, experience, and any previous inconsistent statement or act by the witness concerning an issue important to the case.

[6] You should not do any independent investigation or research on any subject relating to the case. What you may have seen or heard outside the courtroom is not evidence. This includes any press, radio, or television programs and it also includes any information available on the Internet. Such programs, reports, and information are not evidence and your verdict must not be influenced in any way by such material.

[7] For example, you must not use the Internet, [including Google,] [Wikipedia.] or any other sources that you might use every day, to search for any information about the case, or the law which applies to the case, or the people involved in the case, including the parties, witnesses, lawyers, and judge.

[8] During the course of the trial, do not discuss this case with anyone not even your own families or friends, and also not even among yourselves until at the end of the trial when you have retired to the jury room to deliberate on your verdict. Even though this is hard to do, it will be a violation of these instructions and your oath if you discuss the case with anyone else.

9] You must not provide any information about the case to anyone by any means at all, and this includes posting information about the case, or your thoughts about it, on any device or Internet site, including [blogs,] [chat-rooms,] or any social networking websites, such as [Twitter], [Facebook] or etc or any other means.

[10] You cannot use any electronic devices or services to communicate about this case, and this includes [cell-phones,] [smar-phones,] [lap-tops,] [the Internet,] and any other tools of technology. The use of any such devices or services in connection with your duties is prohibited.

[11] The reason for these instructions is that your verdict must be based only on the evidence presented in this courtroom and the law I [have provided] to you in my instructions. It would be unfair to the parties and a violation of your oath to base your decision on information from outside this courtroom. You should feel free to remind each other that your verdict is to be based only on the evidence admitted in court and that you cannot use information from any other sources. If you become aware of any violation of these instructions, it is your legal duty to report this to me immediately.

[12] Disobeying these instructions could cause a mistrial, meaning all of our efforts have been wasted and we would have to start over again with a new trial. If you violate these instructions you could be found in contempt of court.

[13] Pay close attention to the testimony as it is given. At the end of the trial you must make your decision based on what you recall of the evidence. You will not receive a written transcript of the testimony when you retire to the jury room.

[14] An opening statement is what an attorney expects the evidence will be. A closing argument is given at the conclusion of the case and is a summary of what an attorney contends the evidence has shown. If any statement or argument of an attorney is not supported by the law or the evidence, you should disregard that statement or argument.

Now that the evidence has concluded, I will instruct you as to the law and your duties.

The law regarding this case is contained in the instructions I will give to you. You must consider the Court's instructions as a whole, not picking out some instructions and disregarding others.

It is your duty to resolve this case by determining the facts based on the evidence and following the law given in the instructions. Your verdict must not be based upon speculation, prejudice, or sympathy. My rulings, remarks or instructions do not indicate any opinion as to the facts.

You will decide what facts have been proven. Facts may be proven by evidence or reasonable inferences drawn from the evidence. Evidence consists of the testimony of witnesses and of exhibits admitted by the court. You should consider all the evidence without regard to which party produced it. You may use common sense gained from your experiences in life, in evaluating what you see and hear during trial.

You are the only judges of the credibility of the witnesses. You will decide the weight to be given to the testimony of each of them. In evaluating the credibility of a witness, you may consider that witness' ability and opportunity to observe, memory, manner, interest, bias, qualifications, experience, and any previous inconsistent statement or act by the witness concerning an issue important to the case.

You should not do any independent investigation or research on any subject relating to the case. What you may have seen or heard outside the courtroom is not evidence. This includes any press, radio, or television programs and it also includes any information available on the Internet. Such programs, reports, and information are not evidence and your verdict must not be influenced in any way by such material.

For example, you must not use the Internet, Google, Wikipedia, or any other sources that you might use every day, to search for any information about the case, or the law which applies to the case, or the people involved in the case, including the parties, witnesses, lawyers, and judge.

During the course of the trial, do not discuss this case with anyone not even your own families or friends, and also not even among yourselves until at the end of the trial when you have retired to the jury room to deliberate on your verdict.Even though this is hard to do, it will be a violation of these instructions and your oath if you discuss the case with anyone else.

You must not provide any information about the case to anyone by any means at all, and this includes posting information about the case, or your thoughts about it, on any device or Internet site, including blogs, chat-rooms, or any social networking websites, such as Twitter, Facebook or any other means

You cannot use any electronic devices or services to communicate about this case, and this includes cell-phones, smart-phones, lap-tops, the Internet, and any other tools of technology. The use of any such devices or services in connection with your duties is prohibited.

The reason for these instructions is that your verdict must be based only on the evidence presented in this courtroom and the law I have provided to you in my instructions. It would be unfair to the parties and a violation of your oath to base your decision on information from outside this courtroom. You should feel free to remind each other that your verdict is to be based only on the evidence admitted in court and that you cannot use information from any other sources. If you become aware of any violation of these instructions, it is your legal duty to report this to me immediately.

Disobeying these instructions could cause a mistrial, meaning all of our efforts have been wasted and we would have to start over again with a new trial. If you violate these instructions you could be found in contempt of court.

Pay close attention to the testimony as it is given. At the end of the trial you must make your decision based on what you recall of the evidence. You will not receive a written transcript of the testimony when you retire to the jury room.

An opening statement is what an attorney expects the evidence will be. A closing argument is given at the conclusion of the case and is a summary of what an attorney contends the evidence has shown. If any statement or argument of an attorney is not supported by the law or the evidence, you should disregard that statement or argument.

The defendant has admitted he was negligent. There are other issues you will need to decide in this case.

The defendant admits that he was negligent. You need only decide whether that negligence was a proximate cause of the injuries and damages to the plaintiff and, if so, what amount of money will reasonably and fairly compensate the plaintiff for her injuries and damages.

An attorney is allowed, if the witness agrees, to talk to a witness to learn what testimony will be given. Such an interview, by itself, does not affect the credibility of the witness.

Whether a party is insured or not insured has no bearing on any issue that you must decide. You must refrain from any inference, speculation, or discussion about insurance. If you find for the plaintiff, you shall not speculate about or consider any possible sources of benefits the plaintiff may have received or might receive. After you have returned your verdict, the court will make whatever adjustments are necessary in this regard.

A fact or a group of facts, may, based on logic and common sense, lead you to a conclusion as to other facts. This is known as circumstantial evidence. A fact may be proved by circumstantial evidence. For example, if you are in a building and a person enters who is wet and is holding an umbrella, you might conclude that it was raining outside. Circumstantial evidence is entitled to the same consideration as any other type of evidence.

You have heard a witness give opinions about matters requiring special knowledge or skill. You should judge this testimony in the same way you judge the testimony from any other witness. The fact that such person has given an opinion does not mean that you are required to accept it. Give the testimony whatever weight you think it deserves, considering the reasons given for the opinion, the witness's qualifications, and all of the other evidence in the case.

When I use the expression “proximate cause,” I mean a cause that, in the natural or probable sequence, produced the injury complained of.

The defendant has admitted fault for the accident so there is no need to consider fault.

The plaintiff, however, further claims that she was injured and that the defendant's fault was a proximate cause of her injuries.

The defendant denies that any admitted act or omission on the part of the defendant was a proximate cause of the plaintiffs' claimed injuries.

The defendant further denies that the plaintiff was injured or sustained damages to the extent claimed.

When I say that a party has the burden of proof on any proposition, or use the expression “if you find,” or “if you decide,” I mean you must be persuaded, considering all the evidence in the case, that the proposition on which he has the burden of proof is more probably true than not true.

The plaintiff has the burden of proving each of the following propositions:

That plaintiff was injured.

That the negligence of the defendant was a proximate cause of the injury to plaintiff.

If you find from your consideration of all the evidence that each of these propositions has been proved, then your verdict should be for the plaintiff. On the other hand, if you find from your consideration of all the evidence that any of these propositions has not been proved, then your verdict should be for the defendant.

If you decide that the plaintiff was injured and that defendant's fault was a proximate cause of those injuries, you must then fix the amount of money which will reasonably and fairly compensate her for any of the following elements of damages proved by the evidence to have resulted from the negligence of the defendant, taking into consideration the nature, extent and duration of the injury and the aggravation of any pre-existing ailment or condition.

The reasonable expense of necessary medical care, treatment, and services received

Loss of a normal life experienced

The pain and suffering experienced

Whether any of these elements of damages has been proved by the evidence is for you to determine

When I use the expression “loss of a normal life”, I mean the temporary or permanent diminished ability to enjoy life. This includes a person's inability to pursue the pleasurable aspects of life.

When you retire to the jury room you will first select a foreperson. He or she will preside during your deliberations.

Your verdict must be unanimous.

Forms of verdicts are supplied with these instructions. After you have reached your verdict, fill in and sign the appropriate form of verdict and return it to the court. Your verdict must be signed by each of you. You should not write or mark upon this or any of the other instructions given to you by the court.

If you find for Plaintiff you should use Verdict Form A.

If you find for the Defendant you should use Verdict Form B

VERDICT FORM B

We, the jury, find for Defendant Gabriel Stejerean and against Plaintiff Katherine Love

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