What is Prejudice?
If your personal injury claim goes to court in Georgia, a jury will decide the case. People from the general population are chosen at random to serve on juries. These people may have all kinds of prejudices, which can affect your case.
People are often wrong about how prejudice works, at least in the courtroom. For example, we hear a lot about racism and sexism in the news. These prejudices are very real, but they don’t usually come up in decisions about personal injury. This is because, in a process called “voir dire,” where your lawyer can explore potential jurors before the trial.
It’s not hard for a skilled lawyer to weed out people who would treat you unfairly because of your race or gender. But other kinds of bias are prevalent. Most of the prejudice we see in personal injury cases comes from:
- Your personality: If the jury likes you, they are more likely to feel sorry for you and give you more financial compensation.
- How your injury occurred: If your accident happened while you were doing something lousy, like breaking the law or getting drunk at a bar, the jury is likely to be biased against you.
- The visibility of your injury: Most of the time, juries give more money when they can see how bad an injury is and less money when it is hard to see or understand the injury.
These prejudices can affect any case, including medical malpractice claims, motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, and slip and fall cases.
How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Deal With Prejudice?
None of these prejudices are fair, but your injury attorney can help you deal with them. There are a few ways they do this:
- A process called “voir dire” eliminates the most prejudiced jurors
- Getting you ready for trial so that the jury has a good impression of you
- Obtaining doctors, medical experts, and other expert witnesses to testify so the jury can understand your injury
- Showing how the injury has affected your life and your family’s lives
Remember, the law gives you the right to financial recovery after an accident. The amount you get will depend on how the jury sees you.
Two plaintiffs with similar juries can get significantly different amounts depending on how the jury perceives them. An experienced lawyer will deal with a prejudiced jury and tell you if you should go before a jury at all.
Suppose your lawyer thinks that the jury won’t take your injury seriously or that the insurance company’s lawyers will try to make you look bad. In that case, they may tell you to take a settlement instead of going to court.
Contact the Accident Lawyers at The Brown Firm
If you have been injured, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to speak with our personal injury team today!
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