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Rick Shapiro
Rick Shapiro
Attorney • (800) 752-0042

Older People Face Jury Prejudice

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Trial lawyers in the cities of Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Chesapeake, as well as other areas of Virginia (VA) are all trained to anticipate the prejudices that jurors have and express toward parties to litigation.

Especially in cases involving medical negligence and malpractice against doctors, nurses and physician associates, a plaintiff’s attorney can count on juries holding certain biases. Most jurors have been conditioned to believe that medical negligence case that plaintiffs bring are frivolous claims against heroic physicians who shouldn’t be blamed for their inability to protect a patient from disease.

This tendency among jurors seems to be worse when the plaintiff is elderly. This biased is known as ageism.

Unfortunately, many Americans regard the elderly in a less-than charitable light. Many people assume because old people typically don’t work they aren’t “contributing to society” and their days of achievement are long over. This results in many jurors being bias against the elderly in medical negligence cases.

In order to overcome this bias, experienced attorneys work very hard to establish that the elderly members of our population are entitled to the same standard of care and dignity, that everyone else is entitled to. It is important for the trial attorney representing the elderly patient in a medical negligence case to convince the jury that his or her client is entitled to be treated with the same dignity and care as the rest of our population. This can be done in many ways, such as reminding jurors that many of their acquaintances and loved ones are elderly, and in fact, they will become elderly themselves, in the foreseeable future.

It is important that trial attorneys representing the injured among our elderly population continue to vigorously assert their rights in the same manner and with the same enthusiasm that we represent all our other clients.

Authored By: James C. Lewis