If you have been injured in a car wreck that was caused by someone else, it is only fair that you are able to recover damages for your injuries. You may do this by filing a claim against the at-fault driver. When the case is unable to be settled between the plaintiff and the defendant, then it will be taken to trial. If you are thinking about filing a car collision claim, you could benefit from a seasoned lawyer who is experienced with Oak Lawn car accident trials. An attorney could ensure that you are able to get the compensation you deserve.
The litigation process for a car accident case has certain steps when it goes to court. First, the injured driver’s lawyer and the lawyer for the other driver have a chance to ask potential jurors questions regarding their background. Both sides want jurors who may be predisposed to viewing their side favorably. After jury selection, the plaintiff makes an opening statement. An opening statement is what they believe the evidence shows. The lawyer for the defendant then gives their opening statement.
After opening statements, the plaintiff presents their case. The evidence is in the form of witness testimony and exhibits. After the plaintiff rests their case, the defendant presents evidence in their case. When the evidence concludes, the plaintiff gives a closing argument, which is followed by the defendant’s closing argument. The plaintiff gets one more chance to argue to the jury in rebuttal. The judge instructs the jury on the law to apply and the jury deliberates. When the jury reaches a unanimous decision, they give their verdict to the judge.
How long litigation lasts in Oak Lawn car accident trials is largely dependent upon the complexity of the case. Cases involving many witnesses, multiple defendants, or complex subject matters would last longer than simpler, more straightforward cases. The schedule of the judge could also impact the length it takes to conclude a jury trial. If a judge has other cases, they may need to take part of each day to address those cases, which impacts the amount of time the judge is able to devote to an individual’s trial. The pace the judge wants to pursue the case could also impact the length. Some judges push lawyers to finish their cases as quickly as possible, while others take a more leisurely approach.
Usually, cases receive a trial date approximately two years after a case is filed. If settling out of court is not effective, it may take 18 months before the case is filed in court and another 24 months before the individual receives a jury trial. While these are long time periods, judges have done an adequate job to get the times down. In the 1990s, it would take four to five years for a trial date.
Some of the important elements in car accident trials in Oak Lawn that litigators focus on includes selecting the right jurors for the case. Every juror comes to court with their own background and disposition. Trials are won and lost on the composition of the jury. Trial lawyers prepare and present their witnesses in the best possible light. An insurance company lawyer may cross-examine a plaintiff’s witnesses in an attempt to deflect the defendant’s negligence in the crash. Also, a trial lawyer must be mindful of the judge. While it is the jury that makes the final decision, a judge may influence the course of a jury trial.
Car accident trials may be jury trials or bench trials. Most Oak Lawn car accident trials are decided by a jury. Most of the time, both sides want the case decided by a jury selected from the community. The fundamental right to a jury of one’s peers is in the Bill of Rights, but both sides could agree to waive the right to a jury and have the case decided by a judge. This is uncommon in civil trials for damages and more common in criminal trials. Absent unusual circumstances, it is advisable to have the car accident case decided by a jury rather than a judge. If an individual is unsure of which kind of trial might work best for them, they should speak with an adept car accident lawyer that could work with them.