Jury Selection Might Be More Important to Your Personal Injury Case than You Realize
While the vast majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court, not all of them are. If yours is one that goes to court, then the jury selection process is likely to be one of the most important parts of that case. Most people’s understanding of jury selection is limited to what they have seen on TV and in movies. Continue reading to get the facts about real-life jury selection and remember that you can contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.
Understanding the Process
The name for the jury selection process in both civil and criminal trials is called “voir dire.” This is a French phrase that loosely translates to “speak the truth.” This is the point at which the jurors must answer questions honestly about any prejudices or opinions they might hold that could affect their ability to be fair and impartial when acting as a juror.
What is “Jury Pool”?
The jurors who will hear your case will be taken from a “jury pool.” This is a group of people who have been called for jury duty within the jurisdiction in which the case will be held. The judge starts off by asking some basic questions of them, such as whether they know the plaintiff, defendant, or witnesses. The judge will excuse a juror they feel is not competent to serve or is not able to be fair.
The Attorneys from Both Sides Can Ask Questions
The next step is that attorneys for both the defendant and the plaintiff can ask questions of the jurors. Their goal is the same as that of the judge – to determine if the jurors have a hidden prejudice against their client. They might ask if they know anyone who has had a personal injury claim, or if anyone in their family has ever worked for an insurance company.
The attorney gets to make peremptory challenges to have a juror removed if the attorney feels that said juror is not able to be fair and impartial. Once both sides have exhausted their peremptory challenges, the jury will have been selected.
Choosing the Right Attorney is Key to Jury Process
Not just any attorney will know how to ask questions that can uncover a person’s hidden prejudices. When you work with Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas, you are dealing with a successful attorney who has handled both settlements and jury trials. After decades of experience, you can trust that he knows what to ask, how to assess a jury, and how to get the best possible jury to hear your case. You can call our offices now at 909-982-0707 to request a free legal consultation.