Most adults, at one time or another, are called for jury duty. While most complain about the time-consumption and inconvenience of jury duty, it is important to remember that trial by a jury of one’s peers is one of the most fundamental and significant principles of democracy.
During a civil trial, a jury bears the responsibility of determining liability and damages. In a criminal trial, it may even determine life and death. In either instance, a jury has a crucial task in that it must make an important, final disposition of a disputed matter.
While a judge determines the law that is applicable to a case, the jury must hear and observe all evidence presented at trial and then determine based on this evidence whether or not a plaintiff has succeeded in proving her case. A jury will determine fault for an incident causing injury, as well as the amount of any award to which the injured party is entitled.
A Jury Reviews the Evidence
Perhaps the jury’s most important task during a trial and deliberations is to review the evidence presented by both the plaintiff and defendant. The jury must weigh any presented evidence as it deliberates and reaches a decision. The rules of evidence mandate what evidence may or may not be submitted to a jury for its deliberation.
A Jury Determines the Facts
A jury must determine the exact underlying circumstances of an accident based on the careful review of all the evidence presented, including real, documentary, and testimonial evidence. A jury will use these facts to determine how the law applies to the case.
A Jury Applies the Law to the Facts
The judge presiding over a legal matter is charged with determining the law that is applied to a personal injury case. He or she will instruct the jury on the law that applies to the case at the end of the trial when both sides have presented all of their evidence. Jury instructions provide jurors with the law upon which to base their decision.
A Jury Reaches a Verdict
Probably the most important aspect of trial by jury is the jury’s task of reaching a verdict. Once the trial concludes, the jury will deliberate sequestered or isolated from all outside sources to weigh all of the evidence presented at trial and determine liability based on the law as presented in the jury instructions.
A Jury Awards Damages
In personal injury cases, a jury will award damages or other remedies requested by a party. While some damages such as medical expenses may be easy for a jury to determine, other types of damages such as pain and suffering may not be as easy to quantify. A jury must consider a number of different factors and review evidence to determine both the easy questions related to damages, as well as the difficult ones.
It is wise to contact an attorney experienced in litigating personal injury lawsuits involving all types of motor vehicles and motorcycles. The attorneys, past and present, of Powell Law, have represented victims of all types of accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury resulting from a motor vehicle, motorcycle, or truck accident, contact Powell Law at call (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE and you don’t pay anything unless we win.