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How the Judge and Jury Work Together in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

What Does the Judge Do? What Is the Responsibility of the Jury?

how-the-judge-and-jury-work-together-in-a-personal-injury-lawsuitWhen you’ve suffered any type of loss in New Jersey because of the wrongful acts or negligence of another person, you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages (financial compensation) for your losses. While most personal injury claims settle before going to trial, you may need to take your case to a judge and jury to get the outcome you want. Why is there both a judge and a jury at trial? What are their respective roles and responsibilities, and how do they work together?

The Role of the Judge

In any trial, whether it’s a criminal prosecution or a civil lawsuit for damages, the judge makes all decisions of law. For example, if one of the parties seeks to introduce certain evidence, and the other party objects, the judge will consider the laws of evidence and make a ruling as to whether the evidence may legally be permitted at trial.

The Role of the Jury

The jurors are charged, in either a civil or a criminal proceeding, with making determinations of “fact.” Commonly, attorneys for each side will make factual assertions, which may often be vastly different. It is ultimately up to the jury to decide which version of the facts is more believable.

How Do the Judge and Jury Work Together in a Personal Injury Trial?

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the jury to determine the facts and to then apply the facts to the law. Because the jurors don’t know the law, they will receive instructions of law from the judge. For example, the judge will typically tell the jury that, if they make a particular factual conclusion—that the defendant failed to stop at a stop sign—they must come to the legal conclusion that the defendant was negligent, and potentially liable for damages.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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