Auto Accident Attorney
Between 85% and 95% of all car accident cases settle long before they go to trial. If your case is one of those that did not settle out of court, through mediation or arbitration, it may be going to trial. In this case, the legal process is entirely different. If you’ve not already retained a car accident lawyer, or are unhappy with your current advocate, it may be a good time to choose the right lawyer.
If you’re unsure about what to expect during a trial, this information is a good start. You should also consult with your car accident lawyer to discuss what to expect in further detail.
The 5 Phases of a Car Accident Injury Trial
In many states, a car accident injury jury trial typically consists of five different phases. Each of these phases has a key role in the process and achieving a favorable outcome for the victim. The following is a brief explanation of these phases.
Jury Selection and Voir Dire
At this phase of your trial, both sides will select a panel of 12 jurors. Each sides’ lawyer will get the chance to ask the potential jurors various questions that may help to identify biases that could affect the verdict. Both sides can dismiss so many jurors before the final panel is chosen. Once the jurors are selected, the lawyers will explain their role in the trial and mandate them to take an oath.
During this phase in the trial, both sides can present factual information that will support their later arguments. Opening statements serve as a road map for the trial, and typically last between 20 minutes and one hour, depending on the circumstances of the case.
At this time, your lawyer may call upon expert witnesses and witnesses who were at the scene to provide proof that the defendant was negligence and caused the accident. Examples of expert witnesses include medical doctors, scene reconstrucurists, private investigators, and so forth.
Supporting witnesses may also be called to the stand to testify about major changes that you have experienced because of the accident. These people may include your family, friends, employer, and more.
After the plaintiff’s proof is heard, the defense will have the opportunity to dispute what has been said to the jury. The defense can also call upon their own expert witnesses and supporting witnesses.
The closing arguments will include both side’s lawyers making one final argument about their side, or defense. The jury will then deliberate over what they heard throughout the trial and submit their decision to the judge; also known as a verdict. This will be read by the judge. Depending on the state the trial is in will depend on whether or not the jury must make a unanimous agreement.
A lot of time and preparation is needed in order successfully execute a car accident injury trial by jury. If you would like to learn more about this, please call a motor vehicle accident lawyer Washington, DC relies on today.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into car accident injuries and personal injury claims.