The vast majority of personal injury claims will be settled outside of the courtroom in negotiations between the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys. However, there are a small percentage of cases that cannot be settled and therefore must be taken to court. Appearing in court can be intimidating, so it’s important to know what you should expect if your car accident case goes to trial.
Discovery takes place before the car accident trial begins. This is phase of the case where each side exchanges information regarding the evidence that they have and intend on using in court.
During the discovery phase, your attorney may conduct depositions, which are statements given under oath. Depositions are conducted so the attorney understands what each witness intends on saying when called before the jury. Attorneys may also issue subpoenas to obtain important documents relevant to the case or ask the other party to complete interrogatories, which are written questionnaires.
The plaintiff’s attorney will begin by making his opening statements to the jury, and when he is finished, the defendant’s attorney will have the opportunity to do the same. Each attorney will tell the jury a little bit of history about the case and what they intend on proving or refuting. This statement is supposed to set the stage for the rest of the trial.
Presenting the Evidence
Most of the trial will be spent on the presentation of evidence. The plaintiff will be able to present his evidence first. This is done by calling witnesses to the stand and questioning them in front of the jury. Witnesses can include other drivers involved in the accident, the plaintiff, medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, and bystanders who witnessed the accident. After the plaintiff has presented all of his evidence, the defendant’s attorney will be able to present his evidence to the jury.
After both sides have finished, each attorney will have the opportunity to deliver a closing statement to the jury. The closing statement will summarize the evidence that has been presented and help the jury understand how the evidence is relevant to the case. In a way, the closing arguments are used to help the jury put each piece of the puzzle in place so they understand what you are trying to prove.
Once the jury has heard the closing arguments from both sides, they will be asked to begin deliberations. Most of the time, juries can return a verdict in car accident cases within a few hours. The jury will notify the judge once a verdict has been reached, and everyone will gather into the courtroom to hear the official ruling.
It is very likely that your car accident claim will be settled out of court, but you should always work with an attorney who can take your case to trial if needed. The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will do what it takes to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.