What is a Verdict?
Most cases involving injuries are settled out of court and do not go to court. However, a verdict will be made when a case goes to trial. The jury’s official and final decision is called a verdict.
This includes figuring out who is right, if you have a right to damages, and how much those damages are worth. The judge makes the jury’s decision stick by giving an order.
A settlement, which is also a final decision in a personal injury claim, is often compared to a verdict. However, settlements differ because the two sides agree on them privately, outside of court.
A settlement is something people agree to on their own, while a verdict is something the court decides. Once a settlement is signed and filed with the court, it is legally binding.
After filing a personal injury claim, you’ll probably get more than one offer to settle. Your lawyer will either advise you which offer to take, or they might tell you to go to court if the offers aren’t sufficient.
Although a trial is not a sure thing, the jury might rule in your favor, and you could be paid more than your initial settlement offers. A trial takes longer, though, and usually costs more than settling out of court.
How Do Juries Decide the Verdict?
The judge gives the jury directions on what to do to come to a decision. These instructions are very straightforward and tell them to decide the case based on the facts, not how they feel about it. Most of the time, jurors pay close attention at trial, write notes, and think carefully when deciding.
The time it takes to decide a verdict can range from an hour to several days. Some of the factors jurors think about are:
- The Evidence Presented During the Trial: Jurors can access the evidence exhibits while they deliberate.
- The Theory of Negligence: The judge explains what the law says about the case and what is considered negligence. The jury will use common sense to determine if the person who hurt you was negligent.
- Compassion for Your Position: Even though jurors are told to be logical, they have feelings. They will give a plaintiff more money if they feel sorry for them based on their personality, life, and injury or loss.
How is the Final Amount Chosen?
The jury will also decide how much money you will get. They have to pick amounts for each type of damage you are claiming. Some of these are easy to understand. For example, if you have medical bills to back up your claim, they will probably give you the exact amount you need.
Some damages are harder to calculate than others. For example, the amount that juries give for pain and suffering varies a lot from case to case.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at The Brown Firm
If you have been injured in an accident, 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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