In a personal injury lawsuit, you have a right to a jury trial. This means that a group of your peers who reside in the county of your lawsuit will be tasked with deciding the key issues of who is at fault for a serious injury and how much is owed in damages.
Trials are the last resort in a lawsuit. It means that all efforts at informal negotiations and formal mediation have not resulted in a settlement and that now the ultimate decisions must be put before a jury.
Jury Trial: Preparation
Most personal injury lawsuits settle before they get to trial. They settle because attorneys on both sides are aware of the long hours and hard work that it takes to properly prepare a case for trial. There is discovery, research, reviewing records, issuing subpoenas, preparing witnesses (including experts), and pre-trial motions and hearings. Leading up to the trial, you should anticipate responding to any requests for information from your attorney and meetings with your attorney and their staff to prepare you for trial.
Jury Selection: Voir Dire
Jury selection can feel intimidating. The selection process, called voir dire, is designed to find suitable people who can make impartial decisions based on the evidence presented to them. You will sit in a courtroom before a large group of prospective jurors as the attorneys ask questions to gauge whether each potential juror can be fair and impartial, or whether their personal experiences or biases will taint their decision-making ability in this type of case.
Throughout this process, the court will ask questions and determine whether specific jurors should be released. Also, each attorney is allowed several “strikes”, in which they use their experience and judgment to eliminate potential jurors whose selection they feel will be adverse to their client’s interest. The jury will be comprised of remaining jurors in numerical order.
After opening arguments, the jury will be presented with evidence comprised of witness testimony and trial exhibits. The length of a trial truly varies from case to case, and can dramatically increase depending on the severity of the injuries, the complexity of the issues, the amount of money at stake, and the number of parties involved. At the end of the presentation of evidence, each side will be allowed to present closing arguments and the jury will be asked to leave the room to deliberate and answer the legal questions posed to them.
Personal Injury Attorneys: Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.
Jury trials carry risks for both sides, as a jury may not decide an issue the way that either side anticipates, and there is always the possibility of an unfavorable outcome. Regardless of whether a case proceeds to trial, the attorneys at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman, L.L.P. prepare every case as if it will end in one. We do so because we believe that preparation helps us effectively push insurance companies to take our clients’ claims seriously. We have a track record of success and will always maximum compensation for our clients. If you need a personal injury attorney, call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 to schedule a free case consultation or contact our office through our website.