If you don’t reach a settlement in mediation, the next step is a Trial. Trial could be before a judge who may decide your case or it could be before a jury. Here’s how a trial works. First step is what’s called “Voir Dire”. This only applies if your case is tried before a jury. This is basically the jury selection process. Your attorney and the opposing attorney will ask potential jurors questions to find out if they would be fair and impartial in the case.
After a jury is selected, Opening Comments or Opening Statements are presented. We give the jury an overview of your case and what evidence we expect the case is going to show throughout your trial.
Your attorney will call you and possibly other people to testify on your behalf. Your testimony will be similar to what you said in the deposition. In addition, there may be testimony from medical providers such as the doctor who treated you, a medical technician of some sort, or it could be someone with property damage pictures. It all depends on your specific case.
Also involved in the testimony phase is what’s called a “cross examination”. The defense attorney gets to ask each witness questions about their particular testimony. After your attorney has called all of the people testifying on your behalf, the defense attorney may present evidence and call their own witnesses. They may have their client, the person who caused the accident for instance, testify. Your attorney will have the opportunity to cross examine their witnesses. The defense may also have their doctor, who’s reviewed your case, testify. Again, we get to cross examine that doctor as well.
After testimony is given and each side rests their case, your attorney will present closing arguments. Closing Arguments basically summarize what the evidence has shown during the trial itself. After your attorney presents closing arguments, the defense attorney then gives their closing argument. Then your attorney is entitled to what is called a Brief Rebuttal Closing Comment to address some of the issues the defense attorney has brought up. Once that’s done, the jury goes out for what’s called Jury Deliberations during which they decide your case.
Are you considering litigation? Give us a call at 800-332-1992. We’ll talk to you about your case, and what your options are. Then you can make a fully educated decision about what to do next.
The discussion is not over yet, in fact once the jury comes back with a decision in your case it’s still not over. Find out more about “post-trial” activities in our next blog and be sure to subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes.