What goes on behind the closed door, when a jury that has heard the arguments in a personal injury case starts it deliberations?
The first phase of the deliberations
The jurists review the facts of the case. Their memories get called on, because a jury cannot view any taped recording of the trial. Usually, jurists take notes, which help them to jog their memory. In addition, the jury gets to view the exhibits that it saw previously, during the trial.
This phase of the deliberations should not last very long. Yet, if an expert had presented any of the exhibits, this phase of deliberations could last longer than usual. The jury might want to devote a fair amount of time to studying that expert’s exhibit.
The members of the jury do their best to understand what pieces of information each witness shared in his or her testimony. That includes the testimony of any expert. Still, that does not guarantee their ability to put all of the pieces together, using the expert’s analysis of his or her presented evidence.
The next phase of the deliberations
This is when the jurists need to consider how the elements of the law match with the facts of the case. During this phase, a jury might be able to study instructions from a judge. Sometimes, though a judge simply gives instructions from the bench. Ideally, the instructions from the bench come close to the time when the jury must meet to deliberate, and decide the verdict. Still, an instruction from the judge on some aspect of the law could come at any point, during the course of the trial.
In order to help a jury that must deliberate after hearing the arguments in a personal injury case, a judge would probably explain the legal definition for negligence. If a jury finds that the plaintiff’s lawyer did not prove negligence on the defendant’s part, then the plaintiff does not deserve a reward.
Personal Injury Lawyer in London know that each jurist could be swayed by his or her emotions. That would certainly be the case, if the plaintiff had suffered a serious injury, or if the injured victim had been a child. By the same token, a jurist’s emotions could reflect the influence of things like a few pictures of the plaintiff’s injury, any evidence that the defendant lied about how the accident had happened, or even a plaintiff’s pleasant demeanor.
Remember that the judge hopes that all of the jurists will agree. If any one of them disagrees with the others, then the others must seek to determine the reason for that one jurist’s opinion. Hence, every piece of evidence could be reviewed. That could take a long time.