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Inside Personal Injury Trials – How PI Cases Are Held In Court

If you have been injured in a personal injury case, your lawyer will seek to get you the compensation you are deserved. Many times, your case is settled before going to court – in fact, 95% of personal injury cases in the United States are settled in the pre-trial phase. If you do end up going to trial, the following is a general guideline of what to expect.

  • Jury Selection – Although most personal injury cases don’t go to trial, many of the ones that do are heard before a jury. The judge oversees jury selection; he will question the pool of jurors and excuse anyone who indicates that they may not be able to objectively evaluate the case, whether that be because of previous life experiences or ideological predispositions. Your personal injury lawyer and the defendant’s attorneys will also be allowed to excuse a predetermined number of jurors.
  • Opening Statements – The attorneys will give the opening statements. Your attorney will go first, since the burden is on you to prove the defendant’s wrongdoing. Because of this, your opening statement will likely be longer than the defendant’s, while the defendant’s opening statement will spend time rebutting your key points.
  • Witness Testimony & Cross Examination – This is otherwise known as the “case-in-chief.” Your attorney will introduce evidence and call witnesses to prove that the defendant should be held liable for your injuries and resulting damages. When your attorney is finished questioning a witness – known as direct examination – the defendant’s attorneys will then question the witness – known as cross-examination. Your attorney can ask a re-direct examination after this is over. Once you have presented your witnesses and completed your case-in-chief, the defense will then present their case-in-chief.
  • Closing Arguments – This is the last chance for both attorneys to speak to the jury, attempting to convince the jury to rule in their favor. Your attorney should review the evidence, and explain why the defendant is liable for your damages.
  • Instruction for the Jury – The judge will review the legal standards with the jury before dismissing them for deliberation.
  • Jury Deliberation – The jurors will then deliberate to determine if the defendant should in fact be held liable for your damages. If they determine this to be the case, they will then decide on the proper reparation for your injuries. In Florida, the jury’s decision must be unanimous, meaning all 12 jurors must agree on the decision. Once reaching their decision, the jury will come back into the courtroom to announce their findings. If the jury has not reached a unanimous decision, the judge may call a mistrial. If a mistrial is called, the case will either be dismissed, or will start over again with jury selection.

Although the above is a general guideline, your personal injury attorney will be able to provide more specific details about your case and what to expect. Going to court can be a stressful time, which is why you’ll want to have a personal injury lawyer you can trust. Consider using the Goldman Babboni Fernandez & Walsh injury attorney team. The team has more than a century of combined Florida legal experience concerning personal injury and similar negligence cases. The attorneys have handled over 10,000 non-fatal and fatal personal injury cases, meaning they have proven experience you can trust in the courtroom.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

Inside Personal Injury Trials – How PI Cases Are Held In Court

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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