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How Do Juries Come Up with an Amount in a Personal Injury Case

  • A jury is made up of regular people, just like you. This means that they are going to do their best to come up with a decision that is fair, but ultimately, they are also going to be influenced by their own personal opinions and experiences. This makes what a jury will decide to give you at the conclusion of a trial highly speculative.


    An Imperfect Process

    A judge will tell the jury to deliberate and to make a decision based on the law. They will be given instructions and provided with a basic understanding of the laws applying to the case. Then, they will go over the evidence and testimony that were presented and gauge how the law applies to it.

    The jury is provided with neither transcripts nor video of the trial, so this will all be done from memory. Some jurors will take notes, but very often, they will simply discuss amongst themselves what happened during the trial and do their best to apply what they know.


    Calculating Financial Losses

    With personal injury cases, the jury will calculate how much money you should receive for medical bills. This is fairly easy to do as long as evidence is presented regarding both what your medical bills have been to date and what they're likely to be in the future.

    They will do the same thing with lost wages, making it important that you have an attorney who can calculate future losses in addition to what you have already suffered.

    This process will continue for all of your losses that can be directly translated into an actual dollar amount.


    Calculating Noneconomic Damages

    Where things get interesting is the process for calculating pain and suffering. This is completely based on opinion since there is no way to determine what the financial value of pain and suffering is.

    The jury is going to decide whether you receive anything for pain and suffering and, if you do, how much. To try and sway the jury, it is important to present the emotional argument for why you deserve compensation for pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages due to how your injuries have impacted your life. In other words, the evidence presented and how you conduct yourself during the trial will sway the jury’s opinion and the final amount of your financial award.


    Contact a San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer

    To get help with your upcoming personal injury trial or to discuss your legal options after sustaining an injury in a car crash or any other type of accident, call the Law Offices of J. Chrisp at 1-877-JCHRISP (524-7477) or reach us online.