May 3, 2015 • Legal Terminology
Why do People Dread Jury Duty?
You have jury duty scheduled but you are dreading to go and sit there for weeks and weeks, deliberating who is right and who is wrong in a medical malpractice case, in an accident case, or even a wrongful death case. You simply do not want to attend, and you have already fabricated in your mind a story that you are going to tell the attorneys during jury selection something you are hoping the prohibits you from being a part of the jury.
Your Fears are Unfounded
Here is something that will alleviate all of your fears. Did you know that after the trial is over, you, along with other members of the jury, will go to a separate room to deliberate? You are not going to decide who is right and who is wrong. You are going to decide, rather, who is more likely right than wrong. Additionally, you do not have to sit in the jury deliberation room for weeks on end, trying to find the perfect outcome and who is 100% right in this particular case.
You are actually not meant to do that. Why, because, you are not held to that standard. This is wrong mindset to have. You do not have to be there for days and weeks, trying to figure out with one hundred percent certainty if what the injured victim is claiming is true.
Instead, what do you have to do? You only have to determine that the injured victim has shown you that he is more likely right than wrong. Even if the injured victim tips the scales ever so slightly, you can go ahead and rule in his favor. This is what you have to do as a juror, and nothing more is expected of you. Hence, you do not have sit there for weeks on end, making one hundred percent certain that what the injured victim is claiming is true or what the other side is claiming to be true. Instead, you only have to conclude that what the victim is saying is more likely to be right rather than wrong.
However, this does not mean you simply decide on a whim. You have been present through the whole trial and will know everything about this case. While deliberating, you will have see if the victim has managed to show that the defendant was responsible for negligence or wrongdoing, and this wrongdoing caused the injuries and/or loss of income. Once you have determined that, the next step is to calculate an adequate compensation amount for the victim, for which you will be given guidelines by the judge.
Hence, your job as a juror is not that difficult and it is part of your civic duty as well, and there is no need to dread jury duty for a personal injury case. If it were a criminal case, then it is another story altogether since you will be held too much higher standards and will have to carefully sift through all the facts of the case and come to a conclusion beyond all reasonable doubt. This could be a monumental ordeal.