This is the next article in my series on the handling of slip and fall cases in Peoria, Illinois. My last post discussed the importance of expert witnesses in slip and fall cases. It is important to remember that someone who does not have knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education in a specific field cannot be an expert witness. Expert witnesses are crucial in slip and fall cases because their expertise can better help the jury to understand the evidence and facts at issue in the case. Subjects which require expert witnesses can be confusing, so it is recommended to seek an experienced attorney’s assistance when dealing with a slip and fall case. In this article, I will discuss what it is like to attend trial in a slip and fall case. Contact my office today if you or a loved one have been a victim of a slip and fall and need to speak with a lawyer.
The trial process begins with selection of the jury. Potential jurors will first be questioned by both parties before certain members are chosen to serve on the jury. The key requirement of jury members is that they are impartial and will not let their personal biases impact their decision making. This is incredibly important because the jury’s job is to analyze all of the evidence and make a fair determination of whether the defendant is liable. If just one jury member allows their biases to impact their decision, the outcome of the case could be entirely different. Lawyers have a certain number of challenges that may be used to prevent a person from sitting on the jury. Their reasoning for removing a certain member from the jury can be for a number of reasons. However, it cannot be because of the person’s gender, race, ethnicity or other protected traits. Once the jury has been selected, the jurors will then be empaneled to serve at the trial.
At the start of trial, each party’s attorney will present their opening statements to the jury. These statements give each party the opportunity to provide an overview of the facts, the legal theories, and the requested damages that will be presented later during the trial. Next, the plaintiff’s lawyer will present their evidence and witnesses. At this time, the defense may also cross examine the plaintiff’s witnesses and object to evidence. Once the plaintiff is done presenting their case, the defense will have the opportunity to call their witnesses and enter evidence. The plaintiff is also given the opportunity to cross examine the defendant’s witnesses and challenge evidence.
The plaintiff may then “rebut” the defense’s evidence, but may not raise new issues or arguments. This part of the trial is purely used to refute the defense’s claims. Once rebuttal has concluded, each side will make a closing argument and the jurors will deliberate. They will consider the facts of the case taking into account each party’s arguments presented during the trial. Finally, the jury will issue its verdict regarding liability, comparative fault, and damages. It is important to note that the outcome of a case will always depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the situation.
Since each case is incredibly unique, it is important to seek professional assistance when dealing with a slip and fall case. I cannot overemphasize the necessity of retaining an attorney with experience in slip and fall cases to represent you in your trial. The trial process is very complicated and has many steps. There are various rules of evidence which counsel must adhere to. Moreover, experienced lawyers are skilled at advocating for their clients. My office will make sure that your slip and fall case is being handled properly. We pride ourselves on providing quality service and giving your case the attention it deserves. This includes timely responses to phone calls, emails, and making ourselves available to answer your questions. Contact us online or by telephone today to speak with a Peoria slip and fall lawyer. My office also serves clients in the Illinois cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington.