Personal injury trials are expensive‚ lengthy‚ and require a tremendous amount of resources from lawyers to the court to jurors. Finally‚ California may be on the verge of adopting another useful tool in the system to speed through certain cases to trial.
The legislature has enacted the Expedited Jury Trials Act‚ AB 2284‚ which provides several improvements that‚ for the right case‚ will speed up the trial process by allowing for:
- An eight person or smaller jury where six jurors need to agree on each element of the verdict
- A three-hour time limit for both sides to present their case cases
- A “high-low” damage agreement that sets a “floor” and a “ceiling” for the damages that a jury can award
In the last year‚ civil lawsuit filings in California have increased more than 10 percent from 2009 to 2009–partly a sign of the increasingly stingy offers from insurance companies to settle legitimate claims prior to litigation. The law is supported by both the California plaintiffs and defense bars in a rare sign of solidarity and is modeled after systems in New York and South Carolina.
Ross Jurewitz is a personal injury attorney in San Diego and the managing lawyer of the Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers‚ a California law firm dedicated to representing families of people killed in a wrongful death accident. If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in an auto accident in California‚ please order your free copy of Mr. Jurewitz’s book‚ The Ten Biggest Mistakes that can Destroy Your California Accident Case. It is full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and it is free to all California residents.