The good news is this: personal injury cases won’t normally go to trial. Neither party involved in the case wants that, and most times a settlement will be reached long before you need to worry about it. That’s because both legal teams understand that a jury solution is a bigger gamble with perhaps even greater costs. The question remains: what happens when your personal injury case does go to trial?
It’s important to understand the importance of all evidence gathered before the trial begins. After you’ve filed a lawsuit, there will be a process of discovery for both sides. Your lawyer and the defendant’s will gather as much information as possible in order to determine the best possible arguments for either side. In addition to physical documentation, witnesses will provide statements to lend expert analyses to the event in question, and usually, the victim of the injury will be deposed. Everything that happened goes on record.
After that, your personal injury case will likely be mediated one way or another in order to find a settlement outcome that suits both parties more than a trial would. Usually, this works out because one party has a clear edge over the other.
When neither party is willing to give ground, a case might go to trial. When this happens, all the evidence gathered through discovery is presented to a judge or jury. This process can be long and painstaking. First, a jury is selected. After that, the sequence usually plays out like this: both sides will present opening statements to frame their arguments, witnesses will present testimony that could lend credence to those arguments, and then both sides will present closing arguments. After that, the jury will be instructed on how to best fulfill its role. The jury will deliberate, and you’ll have to hope for the best.
This process isn’t ideal because a jury is composed of people who aren’t fluent in how the law works. They’re newbies, and it’s difficult to predict how they’ll react to the story presented by either the victim or the defendant. If possible, try to avoid this outcome–even if you think you deserve better.