This is the next post in our series discussing bicycle accident cases in Peoria, Illinois. My previous post discussed the important role expert witnesses play after a bike accident. Experts such as physicians, economists, accident reconstructionists, or vocational specialists are often called upon to provide testimony regarding matters in their respective fields of expertise. Expert opinions can be extremely persuasive and have significant impacts on the outcome of litigation. In this post, I will discuss what accident victims and their families can expect during a personal injury trial. It is imperative to retain counsel with trial experience who can effectively and successfully navigate the litigation process on your behalf. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
Bicycle accident cases that cannot be settled outside of court will proceed to a trial. This process can often seem intimidating. It is important for victims to have a basic understanding of what to expect in court. The first step in the trial process is jury selection. Potential jurors are summoned to court and asked a series of questions by the judge and the attorneys for both parties. Individuals may be dismissed from service if the judge or lawyers believe they may be biased in their evaluation of the case. Jurors may not be excluded for discriminatory reasons, such as race, sex, or ethnicity. Once the final jury is selected, the attorneys for both sides will present their opening arguments. Afterward, the attorney for the plaintiff (the victim) presents their case, including taking witness testimony and presenting evidence. The lawyer for the defendant then does the same. The plaintiff will have the chance to rebut evidence presented by the defense. As mentioned previously in this series, bike accident cases can involve a great deal of expert testimony. This testimony will include arguments regarding the liability of the defendant and perhaps the victim, accident reconstruction, the victim’s long-term medical prognosis, and potential lost wages. Therefore, this portion of the trial may take a significant amount of time. To end the proceeding, the lawyers for each side will make their closing arguments, after which the jury will deliberate and issue a verdict. If they issue a decision in favor of the victim, they will also award damages.
Trials can be complicated and involve intricate factual issues and complex legal theories. Attorneys must be familiar with the rules and procedures applicable to discovery, pretrial motions, the presentation of evidence, etc. Once the trial begins, your attorney must have the skills necessary to clearly explain the law, facts, and evidence to the jury in understandable terms. It is crucial that you retain a personal injury lawyer with such skills to represent your interests. I have extensive experience representing Peoria accident victims and am ready to assist you. If you need assistance, contact my office to speak with an attorney. In addition to Peoria, our firm also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.