Insurance Company Tactics About Government Assistance and Plaintiffs

In my ongoing blog regarding the insurance company's attempt to win its case by negative inferences and innuendo, one tact the defense likes to take is to imply, if the Plaintiff is making a lost wage claim, that the Plaintiff is somehow not motivated to work if the Plaintiff is receiving governmental benefits. This strategy is impermissible, as the defense is generally not allowed to disclose that the Plaintiff is receiving welfare or some other "collateral source" benefits because the jury may think the Plaintiff does not need an award in this case when he is already receiving governmental benefits.

The courts have held, the prejudice of the jury knowing that the Plaintiff is receiving some sort of governmental benefits, outweighs any benefits of the jury knowing that the Plaintiff might not be motivated to work because of receiving money from the government. The court would not allow the defense to argue in closing argument that Plaintiff would rather receive a hand out than actually work for a living. The jury might also believe that the Plaintiff would be trying to obtain a double recovery by receiving not only government benefits but an award in a personal injury case. It is for these reasons that this sort of defense tactic is not allowed and should be fought vigorously by the Plaintiff once it is identified.

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