A: At the end of a trial the jury is required to answer questions to determine whether the persons you have sued are responsible for your injury.
The jury is required to record their verdict by answering specific questions on the verdict sheet. In a negligence case, a medical malpractice case or a wrongful death case in New York, the first question is usually whether the defendants were careless or negligent. The second question will usually be a causation question.
Causation is that critical link between the wrongdoing and the injury. That is question will usually be phrased like this:
"Was the defendant's negligence a substantial factor in causing the injury?"
If the answers are "Yes, the defendant was negligent," and "Yes, the negligence was a substantial factor in causing injury," then they will move on to the next series of questions that determine how much money to award you for your injuries.
Depending upon how extensive your injuries are, there will be multiple questions about how much to award.
The jury will be asked to award compensation for your pain and suffering from the time of the incident until the time of trial. That is known as as past pain and suffering. They will also be asked to make an award for your pain and suffering for the foreseeable future. If you incurred medical expenses and hospital bills, there will be a space for them to make such an award. If you experienced economic loss such as lost wages, they will be asked to make an award for the amount of money lost from the date you suffered your injury until the time of trial, and also for the foreseeable future.
When the jury gives their verdict, they literally are reading from the answers written on this verdict sheet. That document becomes a court exhibit that becomes a permanent record for your case.