Most car accident claims can be settled out of court, so the victim rarely has to sit through a lengthy trial in order to recover the compensation he or she deserves. But there are some car accident cases that cannot be settled out of court, so it’s important for you be prepared in case this happens to you. Here’s what you
should expect during a car accident trial:
The attorneys for both the plaintiff and defendant will make an opening statement to start off the trial. The plaintiff’s attorney will usually use this as a time to set the scene for the jury so they understand exactly what happened during the accident and why the defendant is believed to be at fault. He may also briefly discuss the injuries the plaintiff has suffered, and how these injuries have affected the plaintiff’s life.
Then, the defense attorney will get a chance to deliver his opening statement. Most attorneys choose to focus on explaining how they will disprove the evidence presented by the plaintiff’s attorney.
Next, each side will get a chance to present relevant evidence to the jury. Each side is able to call witnesses, which may include the plaintiff, the defendant, other drivers involved in the accident, witnesses, accident reconstruction specialists, or medical experts, among many others. Each of the plaintiff’s witnesses will be questioned by the plaintiff’s attorney, cross-examined by the defendant’s attorney, and then questioned again by the plaintiff’s attorney. The same process is followed for the defense’s witnesses as well.
During the presentation of evidence, the plaintiff’s attorney will attempt to persuade the jury that the defendant is at fault for the accident and should be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. Witnesses may also be called to prove the extent of the injuries. On the other hand, the defendant’s attorney will use this part of the trial to poke holes in the plaintiff’s case and persuade the jury to doubt the plaintiff’s version of the story.
After both attorneys have presented all of their evidence, they will each be given an opportunity to deliver a closing statement to the jury. These statements are used to refresh the jury’s memory of the evidence and help them draw certain conclusions from it. The goal is to get the jury members to believe your side of the story over the other party’s.
Deliberation & Verdict
The jury members will be sent to deliberation after hearing the closing arguments. The conversations that take place between jury members are confidential, so both sides will have to wait until the jury has reached a verdict to find out who they believe. Once the jury has reached a verdict, they will alert the judge and return to the courtroom, where the verdict will be read aloud.
It’s important to work with a personal injury attorney who is comfortable taking your case to court if it is necessary to reach a fair settlement. James Rush at Rush Injury Law will not back down—even it means preparing to go to court on your behalf. To schedule a consultation with James Rush, call 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .