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What does it mean when a Jury Asks for a Calculator in a Medical Malpractice Case

If the jury asks for a calculator during jury deliberations in a medical malpractice case, then does it mean it is time for the defense to try to settle your case? You have suffered harm and loss due to the negligence of a doctor and gone through the entire litigation process. Now the trial has ended, and the jury goes and starts deliberating. Now if the jury comes back and asks the court for a calculator, do you think the defense will start negotiating?

Two Possibilities When Jury Asks for a Calculator

When the jury asks for a calculator, two things are possible. The defense will panic, and think they need to settle the case immediately, as they asked for a calculator and the jury might want to calculate how much compensation should be awarded to the plaintiff. Asking for a calculator would most likely mean they are going to award a significant amount of compensation.

The other possibility is that the jury is trying to figure something out and nobody knows what it is. Since no one is allowed in the jury's deliberation room, no one knows what questions the jurors have, and no one knows what conclusions they may have reached. Therefore, it is quite easy to jump to conclusions when the jury has asked for a calculator.

Calculated Guess

The bottom line is that when the jury asks for a calculator the judge will provide one to them. The court will presume they are going to figure out something. It could be that they are going to calculate the damages. They might want to calculate the number of years you are going to have the pain and suffering and the amount of damages they feel you are entitled to. However, on the other hand, the defense could also make a calculated decision that the jury may not be calculating damages, and they could be working on something else.

Negotiations can occur at any Time

When the jury asks for a calculator, the defense will have to determine whether they should start negotiating, or they should go ahead and settle the case, before the jury actually comes back with their verdict. Usually, when the plaintiff has a strong case, the defense would have negotiated and tried to settle the case earlier on. Negotiations can take place at any stage of the case, even after the trial has commenced.

However, there can be no settlement once the jury has read their verdict in court. Therefore, the defense will be vigilant throughout the trial to see how the case is progressing and whether the jury is likely to offer a verdict that favors the plaintiff.

Final Minute Agreements

If the jury has asked for a calculator, there are outstanding or legitimate chances that the jurors are calculating the damages. However, it also depends how the trial has taken place, the testimonies of the expert witnesses, and whether the jury feels the plaintiff is more likely right than wrong. If the defense feels the jury is inclined to rule in favor of the plaintiff, then they are likely to make a marvelous offer and settle the case before the verdict is read out.

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