Trials are uncommon in personal injury cases and jury trials are even less common. When you begin your personal injury lawsuit, your attorney will assure you that only very few personal injury cases go to trial. However, if your case will be going to trial, you'll want to discuss with your lawyer about whether it would be better to have a jury trial.
How Juries Differ
A judge will still be involved in a jury trial and will instruct the jury on what their role is. However, a jury can still be swayed by the party who is portrayed in the most sympathetic light. There is also a small chance that the jury will award a larger settlement than a judge. However, this also depends on the nature of your trial.
For example, if you are part of a group that the jury is likely to have a negative perception of, a bench trial may be a better choice. For example, juries are more likely to have negative perceptions of motorcyclists.
You Will Have Control Over the Jury
Both the plaintiff and defendant are allowed to control who will be on the jury. The jurors can be dismissed from the case for almost any reason, including reasons that would not be allowed in other contexts outside of court. For example, a juror might be dismissed due to their political ideology.
Typically, there will be more jurors selected than are needed because some jurors may need to drop out due to other obligations or due to a medical emergency.
The Procedure of a Jury Trial
Both your attorney and the defense will outline their version of the events. This will include how the defendant injured you and your version of the events. After opening statements, witnesses will be called to testify on behalf of both parties.
Your attorney's job will be to explain the events that lead up to your injuries in detail and provide the jury with all of the necessary background information. Both your attorney and the defense will be allowed to cross-examine all witnesses. The defendant will be required to testify and act as a witness in the case.
If the defendant refuses to participate by not going to trial, the judge might enter a default judgment in your favor. Once the trial is over, the jury will come back with a verdict before the end of the day.
Contact a personal injury lawyer to learn more.