Decatur Car Accident Trials
Most car accident cases in Decatur resolve before trial either with the defendant’s insurance company or between parties. When parties are not able to come to a settlement agreement, a trial may be needed to determine the at-fault party or amount of compensation owed to the plaintiff. In most car accident cases, the trial centers on proving that the defendant was negligent. During trial, each party has the opportunity to argue their case and present evidence in support of their claims.
For help with preparing for trial, or to find out more about what to expect, schedule a consultation today.
What is Pretrial Discovery?
Prior to trial, there is a period where parties gather information to support their case in anticipation of issues that may arise during trial. This exchange of information and documents between the defendant and plaintiff is known as discovery or pretrial discovery.
The attorneys will request relevant case documents, including medical records, accident scene photographs, damage estimates, or any additional information needed to build their case. Parties are generally required to share the identity of witnesses and participate in the discovery process under the court rules.
What is the Process for Selecting a Jury in a Car Accident Case?
In Decatur, car accident cases are heard by a jury that is selected through a random process. The jurors then go through a process called voir dire, where both attorneys are permitted to ask potential jurors’ questions to learn more about them and determine if the person has any bias that would prevent them from being an impartial juror. Once the jury is selected, the parties then proceed with the opening statements.
At the beginning of the trial, the plaintiff and the defense attorney will make an opening statement. Each attorney will present their case with their version of the accident event and the at-fault party. Generally, attorneys will set a roadmap for how they plan to prove that their version of the case.
Presentation of Plaintiff and Defense Case
After the opening statements, the plaintiff presents their case using evidence and witnesses to testify on the accident, injuries, and other issues at dispute. In personal injury cases, the burden of proving fault rests on the plaintiff. A plaintiff attorney will usually call the accident victim to testify to events leading up to the accident and the resulting injuries they suffered. Eyewitnesses and expert witnesses may also be called to testify. After the presentation of the plaintiffs’ witnesses, the defendant’s attorney will follow the same process and call witnesses to testify on the issues raised by the plaintiff and provide any affirmative defenses.
Closing Arguments & Jury Verdict
Following the witness testimony and the presentation of evidence, each party has the opportunity to present a closing argument, summarizing the critical evidence in the case and persuading the jury to consider the evidence in a specific way. The jury will deliberate on the evidence presented by both sides and come to a verdict. If the jury rules in favor of the plaintiff, the jury may also determine the compensation owed to the plaintiff.
Connect with a Decatur Car Accident Trial Lawyer
Although every personal injury case is different, most car accident trials take a few days. The trial may be longer where the issues in dispute are complex or where there are multiple parties to the accident. It is vital to have all the information before pursuing a car accident trial.
Discussing your case with a dedicated personal injury attorney can help simplify the claims process for you following a car accident. We are dedicated to pursuing full compensation for your damages in and out of the courtroom. Contact a Decatur car accident trial attorney to discuss your specific injury claim and legal options.