The value of any type of personal injury case involves a variety of factors, including: the type of injury; the frequency of treatment; the length of time the effects of the injury last (any permanent effects?); the impact on the injured person’s activities of daily living; the prior medical history of the injured person; and whether medical expenses and lost wages may be claimed in the case. Taking into consideration all of these factors, the overall value of a case is based upon what juries have awarded in similar prior cases.
Jury results are often unpredictable. In Delaware, no one may suggest to a jury the value of a case. Juries are only instructed to use their common sense and arrive at a fair award. With surprisingly little guidance, Delaware juries are required to determine the value of a particular case. Accordingly, jury verdicts for similar kinds of cases may vary widely. The jury of 12 must be unanimous. Each individual juror brings his or her own biases and prejudices to the decision, which contributes to the unpredictability of the award.