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While most Boynton Beach car wreck cases end in a negotiated settlement with an insurance company, other cases must proceed all the way to a courtroom trial. Trials are complicated, prolonged events, with specific legal procedures. An experienced Boynton Beach car accident lawyer could represent an injured driver at trial and work to convince the jury of the defendant’s personal liability for the accident. Call today and schedule a consultation with an attorney who is knowledgeable about Boynton Beach car accidents trials.
When a trial is going to commence, a pool of jurors come up from the jury room—anywhere from 18 to 25 people. The potential jurors sit in the courtroom facing a judge and the lawyers from each side.
Next, the judge is going to ask the jurors questions, then the plaintiffs and the defense attorney will follow. The judge goes first, the plaintiff’s counsel goes second, then the defense counsel goes third. Typically, jury selection for car accident trials in Boynton Beach will last about three hours.
After three hours, the lawyers will discuss with the judge about any potential jurors that obviously cannot be fair and unbiased, and the judge may strike them out of the selection process. In a typical case, the plaintiff and defendant will each have three strikes of their own. An experienced attorney will likely strike the most threatening or least appealing jurors for their side of the case.
An opening statement is a statement as opposed to an argument. An attorney is not allowed to argue during the opening statement. Rather, an opening statement is an opportunity for the lawyers to reasonably present the evidence in the case that’s about to be presented.
It is essential that an attorney outline a clear, compelling explanation of the case in the opening statement. If an attorney suggests in an opening statement that he or she will prove a certain point with evidence during trial and then fails to do so, a defense attorney may point out their error later in the process.
Because the burden of proof in a personal injury case falls on the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s attorney goes first in opening statements, followed by the defendant.
In rare cases, a judge may order a directed verdict after opening statements. The defendant may argue that even in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, there is no basis in law for damages to be awarded. For example, there may be no actual injury to the plaintiff or no evidence that an accident even occurred.
If there is not sufficient evidence to continue with the trial, the judge may issue a directed verdict and end the case.
In most cases, there is no directed verdict and the case continues with witness testimony. During the testimony phase, the defendant will question their witnesses and the plaintiff will cross-examine those witnesses, and vice-versa. During witness testimony, attorneys from each side will attempt to hit each of the points that they outlined in their opening statement.
Following the witness testimony portion of the trial, which may last several days, each side has a chance to deliver their closing argument. The closing argument in Boynton Beach car accident trials allows the plaintiff’s attorney to tie everything together, paint the picture of the case, and convince the jury to award the injured driver compensation.
An experienced car accident lawyer may know specific tricks and methods to speak directly to jurors and make a final, compelling case on behalf of the injured driver. If you are involved in a car accident that you fear may necessitate a trial, do not hesitate to contact our attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo.
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