Many people commonly consider legal action after suffering injuries in a serious accident. If you have found yourself in such a predicament, you may believe that seeking compensation from the individual or individuals considered at fault could suit your circumstances. You may also think that by filing a claim you will end up in a heated trial as you fight for justice, much like many fictional scenes depict.
Because many aspects of a trial do not have an intensity that most people find entertaining, television shows and movies often omit numerous steps of the lawsuit process. As a result, you may want to find out more information on what steps happen apart from the back-and-forth questioning seen on TV.
If your case does head to trial and requires a jury, the judge and legal counsel for both parties present questions to individuals who could potentially act as jurors on your case. Attorneys often use these questions to determine which parties best suit the needs of the case, and certain candidates can face exclusion.
After completing jury selection and the case begins, your legal counsel and the counsel for the defendant present their opening statements. These statements present information relating to the case and injury-causing event, along with why the defendant should or should not bear liability. This step of the trial essentially sets the stage for information to come, along with how each side intends to address the issues.
Testimonies and cross-examination
The next stage of the trial often comes to individuals' minds when they think of legal proceedings. Witnesses come to the stand to give their accounts of the event, and the legal counsel for each side questions the witnesses in order to gain more information or to dispute points made by either party. At this stage, physical evidence may also come into play.
Much like opening statements, each attorney makes a closing argument. This statement allows them to sum up their sides of the case and rehash important points made throughout previous steps of the trial.
After the presentation of evidence and arguments, the jury receives instructions from the judge relating to the decision-making process for coming to a verdict. At this point, the judge determines what legal standards to apply.
Deliberation and verdict
The final step in the trial aspect of the case involves the jury discussing, or deliberating, the potentially outcome of the case. They will review evidence, points made by attorneys and witnesses, and come to a verdict. The judge then announces the verdict, and additional actions may stem from this point.
Obtaining legal counsel
If you choose to move forward with a personal injury lawsuit and your case goes to trial, you may benefit from having a knowledgeable professional on your side to guide and advocate for you through this process. Therefore, you may wish to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania attorney in order to understand what to expect from your case.