Before the trial begins, you should ask your personal injury lawyer about what to expect, what role they will play, and what role you will play. During the trial itself, your attorney will do what they can to get the compensation you deserve by:
- Presenting evidence to the court
- Questioning and cross-examining witnesses, potentially including you
- Delivering oral arguments and opening and closing statements
Trial Preparation for Personal Injury Lawsuits
Before the trial even begins, your attorney will start by putting your case together in such a way that it will appear organized, clear, and convincing to the jury. They may:
- Help select jury members who they believe will evaluate your case fairly and without prejudice
- Submit trial exhibits (evidence) to the court within the deadline
- Identify witnesses who are willing to testify or to submit a written statement
- Prepare witnesses for the types of questions that your lawyer and the defense’s lawyer are likely to ask
- Schedule which dates the trial will take place on
If at any point you have questions about the personal injury trial process, do not hesitate to call, text, or email your lawyer. They are here to educate you about personal injury law in your state and to be your guide through the legal proceedings for personal injury.
The Courtroom Experience in Personal Injury Cases
Since everyone’s case is different, your courtroom experience may be very different from that of another plaintiff, even if you suffered similar injuries. Here are the key stages of a personal injury trial:
Your Personal Injury Lawyer May Deliver Opening Remarks
Each side gets a chance to introduce their case via an opening statement. Your attorney will tell the jury about your injury and why you deserve compensation from the liable party. The liable party’s attorney will try to refute what your attorney has stated.
Bringing Testimonies and Witnesses Into Personal Injury Trials
Once opening statements are over, you will get the chance to present your case first, since you are the plaintiff in this case. Among other forms of evidence, your personal injury attorney may rely on testimony from a variety of different witnesses, including:
- People who saw or were involved in the accident
- Medical personnel who treated your injuries
- Experts in medicine, vocational rehabilitation, or accident reconstruction
- You, should your lawyer decide that your testimony may help your case
Witnesses may deliver testimony by coming into court and allowing the lawyers to question them in person or by submitting written statements that your attorney enters into evidence.
What to Expect During the Defense’s Case
After your lawyer finishes presenting your case, the liable party’s team gets a chance to tell their side of the story. Just like your lawyer did, they may bring in their own witnesses and enter their own evidence into the record.
Your personal injury lawyer will get the chance to cross-examine any witnesses the defense brings. A cross-examination can undermine key parts of a witness’s testimony or their credibility. Similarly, the defense is allowed to cross-examine the witnesses that your own lawyer brings.
Closing Remarks Signal the End of Personal Injury Trials
Closing statements allow both sides to sum up what they have already stated and try one last time to persuade the jury to rule in their favor.
Jury Decisions in Personal Injury Cases
Now that the trial is officially over, the jury will retire to consider your case. There is no way to predict how long this will take. Feel free to touch base with your lawyer about what to expect during personal injury trial deliberations.
If your case is strong enough, the jury will rule in your favor, and the liable party will be compelled to pay damages for causing your personal injury.
Do All Personal Injury Cases Go to Trial?
No. In fact, the opposite is true: most cases settle out of court. While negotiating a settlement can take a long time, it is typically faster to settle than to go to court. So why do personal injury survivors decide to go to trial? They may do so if:
- The liable party’s insurer has denied their claim
- The insurer refuses to negotiate in good faith
- The insurer refuses to respond to their communications
When to Start a Personal Injury Trial
You can only take your case to court if you do so within a specific time period. In California, the limit is two years (CCP § 335.1), but each state has its own deadlines. You can consult with a personal injury lawyer to find out what your rights are and how to exercise them.
Managing Expectations for Your Personal Injury Trial
Not only can KJT Law Grou tell you what to expect during a personal injury trial, we can represent you at that trial and fight hard for every penny you deserve. Call (818) 507-8525 to get a free case review. Our personal injury case results show that we are dedicated to helping clients recover fair damages.