First and foremost, any personal injury lawsuit requires the selection of a jury (Criminal Law section). As part of the jury selection process, the judge (along with the plaintiff and defendant through their respective counsel) will question a group of potential jurors about their backgrounds, ideologies, and life experiences, as well as other relevant factors. Based on their responses to questions, the judge may dismiss potential jurors at this point.
A personal injury trial begins with two opening statements, one from the plaintiff’s counsel and one from the defendant’s counsel, after the jury has been selected. At this time, there are no witnesses and no tangible proof is normally employed.
The “case-in-chief” stage of a personal injury trial is when each side presents its most important evidence and arguments.
The plaintiff’s case-in-chief is presented to the jury in order to show that the defendant is legally liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. The plaintiff may call witnesses and experts to testify during this time to bolster their case. Physical evidence, such as photographs, papers, and medical reports, may also be presented by the plaintiff. Expert witnesses and documentary proof are especially important in more complicated personal injury cases, such as those involving medical malpractice or defective product claims, in order to establish the defendant’s liability for the plaintiff’s damages.
Norris Injury Lawyers Decatur AL mentions that in a personal injury case, the plaintiff and defendant have the chance in the closing argument, which is similar to the opening statement, to “sum up” the case in support of their respective points of view. The plaintiff tries to demonstrate why the evidence warrants the jury holding the defendant legally liable for the plaintiff’s injuries in the closing statements, which are the parties’ final opportunity to address the jury before deliberations. On the other hand, the defense tries to show that the plaintiff has failed to show that the defendant is liable for any civil judgment against him.
The judge next instructs the jury on the legal concepts that will be utilized to determine whether the defendant is liable for the plaintiff’s asserted harm.
At the end of the day, the jury’s decision is final.
Following the judge’s instructions, jurors deliberate as a group on the issue, attempting to reach a consensus on whether the defendant should be held liable for the plaintiff’s claimed injuries and, if so, what the appropriate compensation should be. The jury is given the opportunity to sit down and deliberate on the case for the first time, which can last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. The jury foreperson informs the judge when the jury has reached a decision, and the judge usually announces the decision in open court.
If you’re heading to trial, you’ll almost certainly be accompanied by a lawyer. If you’ve gotten this far without the assistance of a personal injury lawyer, you should consider hiring one to guide you through what can be a difficult process.