During Boca Raton personal injury case trials, the plaintiff and their attorneys must be ready with their evidence, direct examination questions, and closing arguments. These case trials can move in many different directions, and the personal injury attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo prepare for many of these situations that may happen in court. The following information describes how the trial involving our injured client who slipped and fell proceeded.
Evidence Presented to the Court
In civil case trials in Boca Raton, evidence can come in many forms, such as photographs, medical records, and expert testimonies. Attorneys on both sides will present all the necessary evidence to prove their case.
In this client’s slip and fall case, the evidence the Kogan & DiSalvo attorneys presented to the court were photographs of the scene, photographs of the injuries, medical records, medical bills, and documents to support her lost wage claim. The testimonies of both expert witnesses and fact witnesses were also presented in court.
Direct Examination of the Witnesses
During the direct examination of witnesses, an attorney will question their witnesses to present evidence to the jury. For an argument to be effective, consistency in witness testimonies without corroboration between them is crucial.
For this personal injury case trial in Boca Raton, the client’s attorney brought out the salient facts regarding the injuries she suffered. These facts included how her injuries affected daily activities that she could no longer do and what she was limited in doing.
The attorney at Kogan & DiSalvo verified that the testimonies of each of their witnesses were consistent to have a more effective argument. The attorney called on several pain and suffering witnesses so that the jury could see and hear from people who have no financial interest in the case.
Cross-examination of Witnesses
Cross-examinations are an important phase of the Boca Raton civil case trial process. During cross-examination, the defense attorney tries to undermine the testimonies of the witnesses. In our client’s slip and fall case, cross-examination was not effective because all of the client’s witnesses testified consistently with their depositions.
The Defendant Attorney’s Line of Questioning
During this portion of a trial for a personal injury case, the defense attorney tries to make their argument. For example, in the client’s slip and fall case, the defense attorney attempted to convey through their line of questioning that the client’s injuries were fully healed and no longer were causing her problems.
Direct Examination of the Defense Witnesses
When examining the defense witnesses, a personal injury attorney may look for inconsistencies or evidence that may be irrelevant to the case to make the defense lawyer’s argument appear weaker. For example, in the client’s trial, Kogan & DiSalvo found inconsistencies in the testimonies given by the defense witnesses during direct examination.
The defense called only a few witnesses, and there were discrepancies between what the witnesses said in deposition and what they mentioned on the stand. The defense witnesses also wanted to mention other items in their testimonies. The Kogan & DiSalvo attorneys were able to exclude these items from evidence by proving their irrelevance to the case.
How to Address Inconsistencies
A personal injury attorney may address inconsistencies by confronting witnesses about prior statements or testimonies. A lawyer can confront witnesses by asking a line of questioning that usually starts by inquiring if a witness recalls a prior statement that had made that contradicts their current statement.
If the witness denies doing so, an attorney may read the contradictory statement in open court. This allows the jury to hear the prior statement, which demonstrates inconsistency.
Filing a Motion for a Directed Verdict
A motion for a directed verdict is a request for a decision from the jury as instructed by the judge. Some defense attorneys in anticipation of how they will conduct their personal injury case at trial will prepare and file a written Motion for Directed Verdict.
In this client’s slip and fall case, the defendant did not file a motion for a directed verdict. Instead, an Ore tenus motion for a directed verdict was used, which means a verbal motion.
What Does Prima Facie Mean in Legal Terms?
Prima facie in legal terms means that a person sets up the bare minimum necessary to establish their claim. For example, in a negligence action such as this client’s, the Kogan & DiSalvo lawyer had to prove that there was a duty on the defendant to do something about the uneven staircase. The defendant breached that duty, and as a direct result, the client suffered injuries.
The risks of a court ruling the plaintiff has failed to prove the prima facie case is that the judge takes the case away from the jury. The judge would determine that the plaintiff was unsuccessful in proving the basic elements needed to allow the case to go to the jury for deliberation.
For example, if the Kogan & DiSalvo lawyers had not established that the client’s accident happened in Palm Beach County on a directed verdict, the court may be able to take the case away from the jury because they had not proven an element, which is necessary for the jury to deliberate on a case in Palm Beach County.