When a personal injury case gets submitted to a jury, the jury doesn’t just automatically know what questions it must decide on, nor does it know what kind of law applies. It’s up to the parties, at the conclusion of a trial to instruct a jury to give them guidance on how to rule. That’s normally done by submitting jury instructions.
Both parties must agree to the instructions, and when they can’t it’s often a judge that will make the final decisions.
Those instructions are vitally important. As you can imagine, subtle wording can persuade a jury, and misstating the law, or what the parties have to prove to win, can be the difference between winning and losing. And when jury instructions are incorrect or inaccurate, it can create huge problems, such was the case in a recent appeal to Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals.