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Jury Duty

David S. Adams Oct. 7, 2021

Personal Injury - Jurors are selected from voter registration and driver's license lists in a county. Various persons are allowed to refuse service (ex. breastfeeding mothers) or are ineligible (i.e. convicted felons in the last 10 years). Many go a decade or more without being summoned for a jury.

A jury trial is the final way to determine how much an injury case is worth (if the case cannot be resolved by settlement otherwise). Twelve people are asked to place a value on what a person's injuries are worth. Some juries may be stingy, others may be generous. Because some juries give low verdicts, insurance adjusters will very often assume a low value to a claim - especially early on, when the injured person is unrepresented by an attorney. They know that most people hate the idea of filing a lawsuit or going through a jury trial - more than they hate being unfairly treated. Insurers take full advantage of this sentiment, thus the frequent need for legal help to get a good result.

In a trial, the jury is not allowed to be told if there is insurance to cover a claim, or not. The jury will speculate and may reduce an award if they are concerned about whether the at-fault party can afford such an outcome. A good attorney will be able to overcome this concern and convince the jury to place a fair value on the claim regardless of any other considerations.

Bankruptcy - it is extremely unlikely that a jury is ever involved in any issue of a personal bankruptcy.

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