Charging the Jury

In jury trials, juries are the fact finders or trier of fact.  It is the jury’s responsibility to sort through disputed accounts presented in evidence before coming to a decision during deliberation at the end of the trial.  The judge decides questions of law, i.e., how the law applies to a given set of facts. In most trials, jurors can take reasonable notes while paying close attention to the evidence and arguments presented.  They cannot be given a transcript of the trial, but must rely on their notes and collective memories.  They are permitted to have all the trial exhibits with them in the jury room during deliberations.

To aid jurors during the deliberation process, the judge, at the end of the trial, “charges the jury.”  Jury instructions are a set of lengthy legal rules that jurors must follow when deciding a civil or criminal case.  The instructions explain how a jury should deliberate and how they should analyze the witnesses and the evidence.  In jury instructions, the law of the case is explained in detail and they are instructed to make their decision strictly according to the law.  Jury instructions are given to the jury by the judge orally, in writing or both.  Jury charges are reviewed beforehand by attorneys on both sides in the case.

The majority of the states in the United States have a basic set of instructions, usually called “pattern jury instructions,” which provide the framework for the charge to the jury. Delaware follows “Delaware’s Civil Pattern Jury Instructions.” Jury charges are often very complex and play a significant role in jury discussions.

You may read the State of Delaware’s Civil Pattern Jury Instructions here

http://courts.delaware.gov/Superior/pattern/pattern.stm

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

Expert Witness

In most states, medical malpractice cases require testimony from a medical expert.  In the state of Delaware, the medical expert’s testimony is submitted in the Affidavit of Merit which must be filed in court with the original complaint, when initiating the lawsuit.

A medical expert will address two questions central to any medical malpractice case:

  • Did the doctor follow the standard of care for a doctor in the same position?
  • Did the doctor’s failure to follow the standard of care injure the patient?

The term standard of care means, the level of care that a reasonable, competent doctor would have given in the situation at issue in the case.  The expert witness will give testimony as to whether the doctor being sued administered that standard of care.  If the expert witness testifies that the doctor did not live up to the standard of care, he must also testify that the negligence of the doctor more than likely caused the patient’s injury.

It varies from state to state who may testify as a medical expert.  If the case involves malpractice within a specialized field, it is wise to find an expert witness within that field.  In the case of general medicine, a wider range of doctors who have the experience and training necessary to qualify as an expert witness are available.

Medical malpractice law is highly regulated by a complex body of rules that vary from state to state.  It is essential to get advice from a lawyer who is highly trained in medical malpractice.

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

What to Expect When Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you are considering filing a Personal Injury lawsuit, it is helpful to understand the stages involved. The following is not intended to be legal advice or an exact process for handling a law suit, but to educate you about the process so you know what to expect

* Choose your lawyer soon after the injury. It is in YOUR best interest to have an objective, experienced counsel from the outset of your lawsuit. The complexity of civil procedure dictates the need to hire an attorney

*  Once you have chosen a lawyer, he will interview you about your accident, your background, medical condition and treatment. Your thoroughness in providing information and honesty in answering questions is essential

*  The lawyer will then gather all medical records, claims, bills and insurance documents related to your accident. Gathering this information can take anywhere from a week to months.

*  Once this information is collected, the attorney will analyze the information and determine if there is a potential case. Personal Injury attorneys work on a contingency basis and are highly skilled at being able to predict outcomes. Then know what is needed to pursue a case.

*  Though settlement can be reached at any time during a lawsuit, at times a settlement can be reached without having to go to trial. A personal injury attorney will submit a figure for settlement after obtaining your consent.

*  If settlement cannot be reached, the attorney will initiate a lawsuit by filing a Complaint on your behalf. The Complaint indicates to the other party (the Defendant) that he is being sued as a result of the accident. The Defendant then seeks his own counsel, who in turns replies with an Answer to each of the allegations. At this point, the case has begun.

*  Discovery occurs next. Both sides have the right to obtain information about the case by means of depositions, interrogatories or medical examination. Facts of the case determine your success or failure. Under the law of Delaware, there are no longer any secrets in personal injury lawsuits.

*  If your lawsuit cannot be settled for a fair amount, after discovery is complete, the attorney will prepare your case and proceed to trial. Formal trial begins with opening arguments. Trial involves the presentation of physical evidence as well as oral testimonies by both sides. These serve to support or discredit the client’s case. Closing arguments to the jury are made at the end of trial.

*  A jury will then deliberate and will issue a final judgement, which if in the Plaintiff’s favor, will involve monetary damages that the Defendant must pay the Plaintiff to compensate for personal injuries. A trial can last anywhere from a day to weeks.

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.