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Florida Wrongful Death Claims, Personal Injury

SHOULD I LET A JURY DECIDE?

Should I Let a Jury Decide?

We have all experienced the shock of the jury system run wild.

OJ walked out of court a free man. This past year Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her child. Granted, the media all but convicted these defendants before trial, however, we all stood witness to the “shocking” jury verdicts. How could this have happened? Is it the system that is wrong? Or is it that we do not really understand how the jury system works?

At Jupiter Legal Advocates we help our clients gain a proper perspective on what they may encounter in the Florida court system, and in particular, what they will face if they stand before a jury.

The world shaking verdicts – Casey Anthony, OJ – are the media cases, but, every day injured people are subjected to their own personal “world shaking” event – if and when they take their case before a jury and their future is “on the line.” Can you trust this system to give you fairness and justice?.

When a person is injured in an auto accident and receive a course of medical treatment designed to repair the physical damage, if they sustain a permanent bodily injury, certified by a medical provider, they may be able to present a claim for money damages. If a person meets this threshold, an attorney will prepare a package containing all of the records and reports, losses and details in order to properly present a claim for damages. Sometimes the process is relatively straight. Once documentation has been properly and fully presented, a good faith negotiation should begin. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies work in absolute good faith in settling claims. Many times an otherwise valid claim is greatly undervalued by the insurance company. This is not the client, doctor fault or the lawyer’s fault. It is the way some insurance companies are set up to function. When this happens, you need an aggressive lawyer who is not afraid to take your case to court. This may put you on the path to a jury trial.

Most cases filed in court will eventually settle without the need of a trial. Sometimes a trial is necessary. This can be caused by a “low balling” insurance adjuster, a client who has too high of an expectation, or as a result of a problem in proving who was at fault for the accident. Whatever the cause, once your case is headed to a jury, you need to be mindful of the sometimes “weird” results from a jury, i.e Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson. Many times heading into a jury trial is like going to a casino and “betting it all.” All is takes to make a “bad day” is one juror who has a loud enough voice that they “sway” the remaining “reasonable” jurors from adhering to a valid decision. In our present economy, reasonable jury verdicts are getting harder to obtain. Juries are more likely now than ever before to come back with low or inadequate verdicts.

Juries are selected from our local population. They are almost exclusively made up of honest and hardworking people. Many times they are dragged into a trial without wanting to be there. On a good day a jury can be very subjective – that means that they may not follow the law and the facts, deciding a case on whether they like you, your case, the doctor, the lawyer, your witnesses, or not. Lawyers and judges refer to this as “Jury Perception.” You may be the most honest person in the world, with a valid and honorable claim. However, if a vocal person on the jury takes a dislike to anything, the jury may “perceive” that you do not deserve a proper award. In fact, those who are in the “system” realize that this “jury perception” issue is one of the very most important factors in obtaining a favorable award.

The point of this article is to make you aware that you may not want to place your fate and your future in the hands of a jury. Listen to the valid and heartfelt advice of your attorneys when it comes to presenting a case to a jury. They are the ones who know what you may be facing and can give you the best answer.

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