What to expect during your personal injury trial

Law Offices of Steven Zwick
Nov 11 2021

While the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court, this isn’t always what happens for every personal injury case. Some personal injury cases do make it to trial, and while lots of people begin personal injury lawsuits, many don’t understand what to expect when those lawsuits make it to trial. It’s important to ask your lawyer as many questions as necessary before going to court. But you may also want to do some research ahead of that day. Below are some of the things that you should expect during a personal injury trial.

Who Determines Whether Or Not My Case Is Valid?

Although it is still very much a trial, a personal injury trial isn’t judged exactly as a criminal trial would be. The case can be judged by either a judge or jury, and either way their responsibility is to decide whether the defendant should be held legally responsible for the alleged injuries claimed by the plaintiff. They do so by considering whether or not there is a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence is evidence that meets a certain standard at which it is essentially beyond a reasonable doubt.

If your case is not being presided over by a judge alone, a jury will be selected beforehand. A jury selection will involve the judge, as well as your attorney and the opposing party’s defendant. The potential jurors will be questioned by representatives from both sides, specifically about matters pertaining to the case. Usually, these questions will be used to determine whether or not the potential jurors would have predispositions that prevent them from being impartial. Through this questioning, a number of potential jurors may be excluded, allowing you to have the fairest trial possible.

What Does The Trial Involve?

Typically, the trial will begin with opening statements from lawyers representing both sides. After that point, there will be witness testimonies, as well as opportunities for both lawyers to cross-examine those witnesses. Following this portion, the lawyers will give closing arguments, the jury will be given instructions, and they will move to deliberate. If a jury is not involved in your trial, the judge will be left to deliberate alone.

It’s incredibly important to understand the workings of your trial, and to listen to your attorney’s advice. This could help the trial’s outcome.