March 14, 2015 • Personal Injury
What is the most important thing for a New York jury to evaluate in a civil case such as an accident, medical malpractice, or even a wrongful death trial?
Credibility is Crucial
What is the main focal point that a jury will evaluate, while deciding who is more likely right than wrong, and what the party is claiming is true? The answer is credibility. Who does the jury believe is more likely right than wrong? Does the jury believe you, or do they believe the people you are suing? This is critical because in order to be successful, to justify a verdict in your favor, we have to show that you are more likely right than wrong and what you are claiming is true.
It could be doctor violating the basic standards of medical care, or a driver who has been carelessly violating the rules of the road. Your attorney has to show that most of the evidence supports your claims, and it all comes down to who the jury believes. Do they believe you, your witnesses, the police officers, or do they believe the other driver, or the doctor? The jury will go back and forth with themselves to determine which side has more truth in their corner.
You can Lose if You do not Appear Credible to the Jury
You are confident that your case is solid and bullet proof, but if the jury does not believe you for whatever reason, you are going to lose the case. On the other hand, even when you think you do not have a golden case, the liability is not so frightening. But the jury may favor you and believe everything you say and you may be victorious in the eyes of the law. This is why credibility is so important.
If the jury believes you, your case, and the witnesses that you put on the stand, and the evidence you present to them is credible and believable, then you are sparkling in this case. In all likelihood this will justify a verdict in your favor.
The jury is not going to be swayed just because they like you, but that can go a long way in building credibility. If they have formed a reasonable opinion about your case and from the testimony you have given then the final verdict should go your way. This does not mean you should start counting your eggs before they hatch and walk into the courtroom with a smug face. That will not go over well at all. You should remain humble and show deference to the legal process.
You have not won anything yet until the check is in your bank account. You should also respect the other side since even if you win the case they can still play little games on how quickly they put the check in the mail. You also do not want to upset your own attorney since that will isolate you in the courtroom and that is a feeling or a position you never want to be in or to have, respectively.
The Aim of the Opposition
The defense on the other hand will try to attack your credibility by showing inconsistencies in your statements to the jury. At the same time, the defense will also try to build the credibility of its main witnesses to show the jury that they are more likely right than wrong.