In the past we’ve discussed proposed auto safety measures, such as Chicago’s proposed speeding camera bill, which would post cameras in designated “safety zones,” track speeding cars and issue automated tickets similar to those by red light cameras.

An earlier report, however, indicates that this particular proposal may wind up dying on the vine for one primary reason — a seemingly significant lack of public support.

If the report is to be believed, many citizens and advocate groups feel that this proposal is not intended to assist with public safety, but rather, the true intention is seen as a money making device.

Whether this is true or not, the article suggested that this sentiment has some in the Illinois state house thinking twice about passing it through (at least without a fight). While this might seem to be a run-of-the-mill political angling, this proposal and the surrounding outcry actually speaks something to the larger issues facing personal injury trial attorneys.

Civil lawsuits often serve as an interesting snapshot of public policy, in that jury trials sit squarely at the intersection of public safety and public opinion.

On one hand, there is certainly a strong case to be made in support of any law that can positively affect the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike. However, if the popularity of such a measure truly drops, and becomes the law nonetheless, then a plaintiff whose main evidence at trial will involve putting such an unfavorable technology in front of a jury of his peers faces an interesting conundrum, as the whole case may ultimately hinge on convincing a jury of the utility of a highly unpopular technology.

For further examples of the effect of public opinion on jury verdicts, look no further than the difficulty that many plaintiffs that choose “alternative medicine” as a means of healing after an accident have in convincing a jury at trial to consider these part of the damages.

Now, certainly there are a multitude of nuances that affect all trials one way or another, and the current fuss about the proposed speeding cameras may ultimately turn out to be much ado about nothing, but it is still a key consideration that all plaintiffs must keep in mind. Taking your case before a jury of your peers means taking into account public sentiment and the will of the majority — with all the good and bad that comes with it.

You can contact us here 24/7/365 (and we really mean that as we will answer our phone) if you have anyquestions and to learn how we may be able to help you in the unfortunate event of an accident that caused you or your family or friends injuries – in particular, you will find that we listen, take your phone calls and e-mails (and even text messages!). We would be honored to help you with your matters – large or small.

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