Jury Instructions-Subrogation Example for Car Accident Case

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Jury Instructions

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 and following the law given in the instructions. Your verdict must not be based upon speculation, prejudice, or sympathy. Each party, whether a corporation or individual, should receive your same fair consideration. 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.

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.

The defendant has been found to be negligent in causing the accident. There are other issues you will still need to decide.

Now that the evidence has concluded, I will further instruct you as to the law and your duties. I have not meant to indicate any opinion as to the facts of this case by any of my rulings, remarks, or instructions.

Whether a party is insured has no bearing whatsoever on any issue that you must decide. You must refrain from any inference, speculation, or discussion about insurance.

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.

When I use the word “negligence” in these instructions, I mean the failure to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the doing of something which a reasonably careful person would not do, under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence. The law does not say how a reasonably careful person would act under those circumstances. That is for you to decide.

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

The plaintiff claims that its insured's vehicle was damage and that the defendant was negligent.

The plaintiff further claims that the negligence of the defendant was a proximate cause of the damage to Bolin's vehicle and other expenses to be incurred.

The defendant has been found to be negligent.

The defendant denies that her actions were a proximate cause of the damages claimed by plaintiff.

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:

First, that Andre Bolin's property was damaged as a result of this accident ;

Second, that the negligence of the defendant was a proximate cause of the damage to Andre Bolin's property and caused plaintiff to incur additional expenses.

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

The defendant has been found to be negligent in causing this accident. You need only decide whether that negligence was a proximate cause of the damages claimed by the plaintiff, and, if so, what amount of money will reasonably and fairly compensate the plaintiff for those damages.

If you decide for the plaintiff on the question of liability, you must then fix the amount of money which will reasonably and fairly compensate it 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 damage:

1. The damage to property, determined by the lesser of (1) the reasonable expense of necessary repairs to the property or (2) the difference between the fair market value of the property immediately before the occurrence and its fair market value immediately after the occurrence.

2. Any taxes reasonably and necessarily paid or advanced to purchase a replacement vehicle;

3. Reasonable necessary rental car expenses; and

4. Reasonable and necessary towing and storage charges.

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

The theory of a subrogation case is predicated on the equitable doctrine that one who has indemnified or paid another pursuant to his or her obligation to do so, is entitled to the means of redress held by the party indemnified against the individual alleged to have caused the loss. It is the right exercised by an insurer as successor to the remedies of its insured.

In this case, the plaintiff is suing in its capacity as subrogee of its insured.

In Illinois, an insurance company may file suit in its own name or in the name of its insured. In the event of a recovery, an insured will receive the pro rata share of a deductible and the insurance company will receive a pro rata share of its payment.

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, Affirmative Insurance Services as subrogee of Andre Bolin, and against defendant Keniasha Orr then you should use Verdict Form A.

If you find for the defendant and against the plaintiff then you should use Verdict Form B.

If you decide for the plaintiff on the question of liability, you must then fix the amount of money which will reasonably and fairly compensate it 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 damage:

1. The damage to property, determined by the lesser of (1) the reasonable expense of necessary repairs to the property or (2) the difference between the fair market value of the property immediately before the occurrence and its fair market value immediately after the occurrence.

2. Reasonable necessary rental car expenses; and

3. Reasonable and necessary towing and storage charges.

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

VERDICT FORM B

We, the jury, find for the Defendant, Kentasha Orr and against the Plaintiff, Affirmative Insurance Services, a/s/o Andre Bolin.

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.

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, Affirmative Insurance Services as subrogee of Andre Bolin, and against Keniasha Orr then you should use Verdict Form A.

If you find for the defendant and against the plaintiff then you should use Verdict Form B.

The plaintiff claims that it sustained damage and that defendant, Keniasha Orr., was negligent in one or more of the following respects:

a. Orr carelessly and negligently crossed the center line of the roadway colliding with Bolin's vehicle in the lane of travel Bolin had been previously proceeding in;

b. Orr carelessly and negligently failed to keep a proper lookout and circumspect;

c. Orr carelessly moved at an unreasonable speed for the conditions then prevailing;

d. Orr carelessly and negligently failed to retain sufficient and proper control over the operation of said motor vehicle;

e. Orr carelessly and negligently failed to keep her vehicle in her proper lane of traffic; or

f. carelessly and negligently failed to give a proper warning to Andre Bolin or to any vehicle(s) involved in this alleged incident.

The plaintiff further claims that one or more of the foregoing was a proximate cause of its damage.

The defendant denies that he was negligent in doing any of the things claimed by the plaintiff and denies that any claimed act or omission on the part of the defendant was a proximate cause of the plaintiff's claimed damages.

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

First, that the defendant acted, or failed to act in one of the ways claimed by the plaintiff as stated to you in these instructions and that in so acting, or failing to act, the defendant was negligent;

Second, that Andre Bolin's property was damaged;

Third, that the negligence of the defendant was a proximate cause of the damage to Andre Bolin's property.

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, but, if on the other hand, 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.

The theory of a subrogation case is predicated on the equitable doctrine that one who has indemnified or paid another pursuant to his or her obligation to do so, is entitled to the means of redress held by the party indemnified against the individual alleged to have caused the loss. It is the right exercised by an insurer as successor to the remedies of its insured.

In this case, the plaintiff is suing in its capacity as subrogee of its insured.

In Illinois, an insurance company may file suit in its own name or in the name of its insured. In the event of a recovery, an insured will receive the pro rata share of a deductible and the insurance company will receive a pro rata share of its payment.

If you decide for the defendant on the question of liability, you will have no occasion to consider the question of damages.

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.

It was the duty of the defendant, before and at the time of the occurrence, to use ordinary care for the safety of plaintiff and plaintiff's property. That means it was the duty of the defendant to be free from negligence.

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

Whether a party is insured has no bearing whatsoever on any issue that you must decide. You must refrain from any inference, speculation, or discussion about insurance.

Now that the evidence has concluded, I will further instruct you as to the law and your duties. I have not meant to indicate any opinion as to the facts of this case by any of my rulings, remarks, or instructions.

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 and following the law given in the instructions. Your verdict must not be based upon speculation, prejudice, or sympathy. Each party, whether a corporation or individual, should receive your same fair consideration. 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.

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.

When I use the words “ordinary care,” I mean the care a reasonably careful person would use under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence. The law does not say how a reasonably careful person would act under those circumstances. That is for you to decide.

When I use the word “negligence” in these instructions, I mean the failure to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the doing of something which a reasonably careful person would not do, under circumstances similar to those shown by the evidence. The law does not say how a reasonably careful person would act under those circumstances. That is for you to decide.

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