If you were in a car accident and cannot settle with the insurance company for a fair amount, you may end up having to take your case to court through a personal injury lawsuit. Cases that end up in courtrooms can end up taking a long time to be resolved, so you should be prepared for this. When you finally do go to court, there are several things that will happen during the trial, and here are several of the important things you should understand about what happens during car accident lawsuit cases.
Choose A Jury
One of the first things that will happen during your trial is called jury selection. Personal injury cases are often settled with juries, and the process of selecting a jury can often take an entire day or longer. During this process, your attorney's goal will be to try to select jurors that will feel sympathy for you. They may be people that have been injured in the past or have experienced injuries to close family members. They may be people of any age, gender, or race, but your attorney will try carefully to choose people that would benefit your case.
As this process occurs, your attorney will ask the potential jurors questions to find out more about them. The defendant's attorney will also have the opportunity to ask the jurors questions. If either attorney in the case does not want a specific juror, the attorney will motion to the judge to have them excluded from the pool. Eventually, they will narrow it down to the correct amount of jurors. The fate of your case will be left in the hands of these individuals.
Testimony And Cross-Examinations
When the trial actually begins, each attorney will have a few minutes to address the court with opening statements. After this is complete, the trial will continue by calling witnesses to the stand. You may have to testify during your case, but you will know this in advance, and your lawyer will prepare you for it. When a person testifies in the case, it begins with that person's own lawyer asking the questions. After that, the other attorney will have the right to cross-examine that witness. If you will be testifying, your lawyer will also prepare you for answering questions during the cross-examination part of the process.
This process can take a few hours, an entire day, or even longer. It really depends on the amount of evidence in the case and the complexity of the case. As soon as it is complete, each lawyer will present closing arguments, and these are designed to sway the jurors in one direction or the other.
Jury Instructions And Deliberation
When the lawyers have finished presenting their closing arguments, the judge will give the jurors instructions. These instructions will primarily include telling them to stay objective in the case and to determine a verdict based only on the evidence presented in the courtroom. Judges give these instructions simply to remind the jurors of their jobs, duties, and obligations in the matter.
The jurors will then meet in a room together to determine the verdict in the case. The verdict they reach will determine whether you win the case or not. The judge will then determine the amount of settlement you will be awarded if you win the case.
Going through any type of court trial can be time-consuming and intimidating, and it is not something you should try to accomplish on your own. If you have not yet hired a lawyer to represent you in your car accident case, look for a good personal injury attorney, such as Carl L. Britt, Jr., today.