When a personal injury case goes to trial, not only does a jury have to assess whether or not to side with the plaintiff or the defendant, but if their verdict is in favor of the plaintiff, they further have to decide how much to award that plaintiff for his or her injuries. So how does a jury choose the amount? It involves going over the trial evidence, and referring to the law involved in this scenario.
- Assessing the trial evidence. Jurors will not be able to use a transcript of the trial, but most will be taking notes and will be allowed to examine the exhibits used in trial. Their deliberation could go on for an hour or less to multiple days.
- Looking at the law: Jury Instructions. The judge will instruct the jurors on what negligence is, and inform them about the laws involved in this case and the steps they must take to arrive at their decision. This includes the instruction to view the facts impartially, to not make any decisions based off of emotion. The reality is, however, that jurors do operate according to emotional appeals.
- Looking at the law: Emotional Appeals. Jurors are human, and it is inevitable that a powerfully emotional case will have an effect on the jury. This includes cases where children are injured, when devastating injury or wrongful death has occurred, or when a defendant tried to conceal what happened, for example.
Taking that all into account, jurors have a straightforward job when it comes to figuring out how much to give the plaintiff for their lost wages and medical costs, as they have concrete numbers to work with. So how about the pain and suffering award?
The judge does not give much of an outline on how to calculate these damages, but it is up to the jury to calculate what they would expect from an award if they were the ones who had been injured. When the jurors can agree, then they present their verdict.
For more on what you can expect from a personal injury case, or to find out if you have reason to file a claim, do not hesitate to reach the Whitley Law Firm as soon as possible. Our legal professionals have been advocating for the injured and the families of those who have lost loved ones for more than 38 years. We are dedicated to helping innocent people get the results they deserve from their legal claims.
You can discuss your case with an experienced Raleigh personal injury lawyer for free, so you can be aware of your legal options. Complete your free case review today!