A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer reflects on a recent study gauging the impact of gender on jury deliberations. The report indicated that juries consisting of over 50% women ruled in favor of the plaintiff more often than juries consisting of mostly men, or equal men and female. The report by Verdict Search reviewed cases over a 30-year period from 12 states. In this article, a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will examine the study results and opine on potential implications for plaintiff attorneys.
The report concentrated on personal injury lawsuits and other civil litigation matters that occurred in states including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The report trails an earlier Verdict Search study with a smaller sample size that concluded very similar results. This information may hold relevance for Philadelphia personal injury lawyers and their clients.
The results showed that male plaintiffs saw the most success with a jury consisting of mostly females (54.3%). Similarly, female plaintiffs also saw the most success with a female jury, having the jury find in their favor 49.9% of the time.
Genders and Empathy
A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer speculates that empathy may play role in how female jurors decide a case. Plaintiffs in civil litigation trials must establish both liability and damages. In personal injury and wrongful death cases, it helps the plaintiff to have jurors who are very empathetic and understanding of the pain and suffering that the client is going through. Oppositely, while some women may demonstrate empathy to plaintiffs, others may have misgivings about holding a defendant liable. This may make a female juror more likely to side with the defendant.
Life Experiences Matter More than Gender
While gender may play a minor role in a juror’s behavior, many jury consultants believe that favoring a juror based on gender is generally a bad idea. Many believe that life experiences of the jurors are more foretelling of juror behavior than gender or other demographic factors. Additionally, case facts, courtroom dynamics, and the discussion during deliberations clearly have a much more significant impact on case determination.
Instead of selecting a jury based on gender, a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer recommends looking for jurors who support the idea that plaintiffs should be compensated for their pain, suffering, and mental anguish. Pennsylvania law provides allows compensation for these types of damages; however, not all jurors will support compensating plaintiffs for these damages. Therefore, jury selection should be based more on juror ideology than simply gender. Ultimately, empathetic jurors may be more likely to set larger damages awards and the quality of empathy is not exclusive to female jurors.
Contact the Wieand Law Firm Today
The personal injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience in litigating catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Our team offers free consultation to help review your case and understand the legal options available to you. Call 215-666-7777 or complete the online form today to speak with an attorney who can help.