The Phases of an Accident Legal Case
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Many challenges face a lawyer preparing for a case. If negotiation for
settlement fails, you and your lawyer are destined to go to trial, which is the
most high-profile phase of the personal injury lawsuit process.
What happens in a trial? How does a lawyer go about the demands of a trial?
Although most personal injury disputes are resolved before the trial stage, a
trial gives both parties the opportunity to present their sides and be heard.
A personal injury trial is typically consists of six main phases:
1. Selection of jury
2. Opening statements
3. Witness testimony and cross-examination
4. Closing arguments
5. Jury instruction
6. Jury deliberation and verdict
Selection of Jury The members of the jury are selected by the judge who has
the power to choose or exclude any candidate he thinks will not be objective in
deciding the case.
Opening statement After the jury has been selected, the next stage will be
the opening statements of lawyers from both camps. In the opening statements: *
Your lawyer (plaintiff) presents the facts of the accident or injury and the
other party's involvement in the incident. * The defendant's lawyer gives their
own interpretation of facts and presents their side of the story.
Witness Testimony and cross-examination This is the stage when witnesses and
experts are called to testify and give their accounts or expert opinion on
matters. The witness testimony process adheres to certain standards:
* The witness is called to the stand and sworn in.
* Your lawyer will begin direct examination of the witness by asking
questions to support your claim.
* After direct examination, it will be the defendant's turn to question your
witnesses and experts.
* After cross-examination, your lawyer will be given another chance to ask
further questions before he rests his case. Closing arguments Like the opening
statements, the closing arguments give both parties to summarize and wrap up
Jury Instruction The judge gives the jury a set of legal standards based on
the injury claims at issue and the evidence present on trial.
Jury Verdict The jury deliberates on the case and announces their verdict. If
no verdict is announced, the judge may declare a mistrial and the case will have
to be heard again and return to the initial stage of jury selection.
Going to trial may be the last option that a personal injury victim could
undergo and it will be the most difficult part of a case. To increase your
chance of winning a trial, it would be best to find a competent and
knowledgeable lawyer who can handle the job well.
About the Author
For more information regarding accident trial cases, contact professional
Before becoming an online writer, Manuel worked as a journalist, a newspaper
columnist, a scriptwriter, a fiction writer, a magazine editor, and a tutor. He
acquired his legal background as a Senate legislative officer and later on, as a
researcher and paralegal staff in various law offices. Someday he hoped to go
back and devote more time to writing fiction, which is his first passion.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-12-01 01:35:51 in Legal Articles