Is Liability Insurance Admissible in Trial?
There are some risks to being in business in this day and age. This statement may seem obvious to you, especially if you've been in business for a while. There will always be the risk of someone taking you to court, whether it is a customer or an employee.
The customer or employee might feel like you owe them money for whatever reason. A reason might be that your products may be faulty or work conditions are dangerous. In these circumstances, it is your responsibility since you are the owner of the business.
This is why it is a good idea to have liability insurance in case you are taken to court. However, liability insurance is not always admissible in a court of law.
You aren't sure when it is admissible or not, which is why you've asked a local lawyer for information on the issue. Let's take a closer look at the situation to see what the facts are.
"Is it admissible?"
Evidence of you having liability insurance is not admissible in NC courts of law. It is not admissible on the issue of whether the supervisor acted negligently or wrongly in any other manner.
This rule does not require an exclusion of the evidence to prove if you have liability insurance if you offer this evidence up for another reason.
Those reasons can include proof of agency, proof of ownership, proof of control of the company, or the bias or prejudice of a witness in the case.
"Why is it not admissible?"
The reason for its inadmissibility is the concern over unfair prejudice. If a jury is to learn of your coverage or lack of coverage by liability insurance, then they would relax their standards in determining both your fault and damages.
The law uses certain wording to show that there are many ways this coverage could be admissible in court. One such phrasing is the use of "such as" to indicate that there are more ways to use it as admissible evidence than what is stated in the law itself.
"Would a lawyer be able to use it as evidence?"
While your lawyer would not be able to use it to show whether you acted negligently or not, he or she would be able to use it in other ways.
They could use your liability coverage to show that you are the owner of the company. They could use it to show that you have control over your company.
He or she could also use it to show that a witness may be biased against you. Using it in this manner could work in your favor in the long run.
While they could use it in this way, witness bias is not as likely to pop up in cases like yours. It would not be as likely to show up in cases of business torts.
Greenville and Washington, NC Auto Accident Attorneys
I’m Brian Ricci, a Car Accident Lawyer serving Greenville, NC and the surrounding areas. If you have suffered a personal injury due to a car crash, please call me anytime at (252) 752-7785 or (800) 387-6406 for free, friendly advice. The call is free and there is no obligation to you.
I am a longtime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.