This is the next post in our series discussing personal injury cases related to car accidents in Peoria, Illinois. My previous article focused on the role that expert witnesses often play in car accident cases. Providing the liability of the defendant and estimating the victim’s damages can become complicated depending upon the facts surrounding the accident and severity of injuries. When such matters are in dispute, expert witnesses may be relied upon to provide testimony supporting one’s position. In many instances, multiple experts may be required to provide opinions related to various aspects of the case. It is important to retain an attorney with the experience and resources necessary to retain expert witnesses on your behalf. This article will discuss what one can expect should their case proceed to trial. If you or a loved one have been injured in an automobile accident, contact my office to speak with a lawyer.
As discussed previously in this series, shortly after a car accident occurs, the parties’ insurance companies and attorneys will begin settlement negotiations. If an adequate settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial. The trial process begins with jury selection. Potential jurors are subjected to questioning by the attorneys for both parties and the judge to ascertain whether they will be impartial in their view of the case. A limited number of members of the jury pool may be dismissed based on their answers. Candidates may not be removed or challenged for discriminatory reasons such as ethnicity, gender, or religion. At the end of this process, a final jury is empaneled. Next, the attorneys for both sides will make their respective opening statements. The plaintiff will then present their evidence and witnesses followed by the defendant’s presentation of their case. After the defense has presented their case, the plaintiff may offer “rebuttal” evidence. Once this is completed, each side will make closing arguments. The jury will then deliberate and ultimately render their verdict regarding liability and damages.
Given the potentially complex evidence often involved in car accident cases, an attorney’s ability to clearly and effectively communicate with the jury is of the utmost importance. For instance, explanations of complicated medical diagnosis or arguments related to the comparative fault of the parties can involve hours of testimony from expert witnesses. Failing to present evidence in a way that makes sense to the average juror or relying on technical or legal terminology that they may not understand, can have a serious impact on the outcome of a case. The jury must understand and evaluate the entirety of the evidence presented to them in order to reach a conclusion. It is important, therefore, to retain an attorney with jury trial experience to represent your interests.
I have extensive jury trial experience and the skills necessary to communicate complex facts and theories to jurors. If you need assistance, contact our Peoria, Illinois office to speak with an attorney. In addition to Peoria, I also serve clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.