What Happens During A Personal Injury Trial?

A personal injury trial allows you to argue your case to obtain a settlement. At the same time, the defendant gets a chance to tell their side of the story and present supporting evidence. After you have argued your sides of the story, the judge will deliberate and decide based the compensation case based on several factors. Below is more information on what goes on during the trial and why you need a reliable lawyer.

1. Selecting the Jury 

A jury or judge decides your personal injury lawsuit. So if a judge does not do it, a jury will be selected. However, a judge might be present with lawyers from both sides during the selection process. Generally, there will be a long list of potential jurors that must answer some questions, which will help determine their capabilities. Your lawyers may also present some challenging situations to help narrow down the list.

2. The Opening Statements

After the jury selection, the case gets to the statement stage. Here, both lawyers must open the case with their respective statements. Usually, you and the defendant do not have to do or say anything at that time. Additionally, your lawyer is the one that makes the first statement highlighting the facts of the accident and the defendant's involvement. The defendant's attorney must wait until your lawyer is done to make their opening statement.

3. Interrogations and Testimonies by the Witnesses

Once the opening statements are made, witnesses must now take the stand to prove the charges. Additionally, your lawyer will produce all evidence to support your case. The witness must first swear by taking an oath before answering any questions by both lawyers.

However, your lawyer gets to interrogate first. After that, the other side will also get their chance before your lawyer gets another final opportunity to fix any damages from the opposing party. Subsequently, the defendant's lawyer may also call in their witness in an attempt to prove their innocence, and the process repeats itself.

4. The Closing Statements and Jury Instructions

Closing arguments usually come after both parties are done presenting their cases. Like the opening statements, each attorney will have one final chance to make closing remarks that summarize their evidence. Then, typically, the jury will have time (hours to weeks) to discuss the case and make the final ruling.

Their decision may be based on factors such as the emotional distress of the plaintiff and the damages caused. Once they decide, they will pass their verdict to the judge through the jury foreperson, and then the judge will be the one to make the final announcement.

Personal injury trials are complicated, which is why you should hire a personal injury lawyer to walk the process with you. You can trust them since they know the process and have relevant experience.