Car Accident Trials in Dorchester
After being involved in a car accident, it may be difficult to determine what should come next in your fight for appropriate compensation. If you did not receive a satisfactory settlement offer from the party responsible for the wreck, it may be worthwhile to explore taking your case to trial. There are different benefits and risks associated with car accident trials in Dorchester. For example, the court may award you more than the insurance company’s highest settlement offer, but it could also award you much less or even nothing at all.
An experienced car accident lawyer could explain the advantages and challenges of auto collision trials and help prepare you for different court proceedings. Once retained, an attorney could take the lead on your case and help you pursue a positive outcome to your case.
Voir Dire and Jury Selection
The first part of a typical Dorchester car accident trial is a process known as voir dire. The purpose of voir dire, which is a part of the jury selection process, is for judges as well as attorneys from both sides to ask potential jurors questions to expose biases. This is to ensure that the potential jurors are neutral and competent enough to serve in a trial.
For example, during the jury selection process, the judge or attorneys may ask potential jurors if they have ever suffered injuries in a car accident, or if someone has ever sued them in a car accident case. They may also inquire into whether a prospective juror has ever worked for an insurance company.
Following this period of questioning, the attorneys for both parties have an opportunity to strike or dismiss a certain number of jurors. Once that happens, the judge impanels the jurors who will ultimately decide the case.
Issues in Dispute
During a Dorchester car accident trial, one or more legal issues must be in dispute. The most typical disputes include:
- Liability disputes – the parties to the case have a disagreement about who caused the car accident—in other words, who was at fault—or whether the accident victim caused or contributed to the accident
- Damage disputes – the parties to the case disagree about the type or amount of available damages or about the nature and extent of the accident victim’s injuries
In car accident trials in Dorchester, the jury is typically the finder of fact. Therefore, it is the jury who must ultimately decide the disputed issues and come to a decision in the case.
Introducing Evidence at Trial
During a civil trial, each side has the opportunity to introduce evidence just like in a criminal trial. Evidence may come in the form of testimony provided by parties and experts on the witness stand or as documentary evidence, the latter of which may include pertinent medical records, bills, photographs, and documentation of lost wages.
Before reaching a verdict, the jury may consider some, all, or none of the evidence presented. However, the jury must only consider the evidence presented during the trial. Attorneys’ opening statements and closing arguments are not considered evidence in this context.
At the conclusion of the jury trial, the judge instructs the jury members on the law they should apply when reaching their decision of guilty or not guilty. Then, the jury members retire to the jury chamber to deliberate and decide the disputed issue or issues in the case. Once the jury has reached a verdict, the jury foreman—or spokesperson—announces their decision.
Call to Learn More About Car Accident Trials in Dorchester
Deciding whether or not to take a case to trial can be difficult. Every car accident case has strengths and weaknesses, and there is always some uncertainty associated with taking your case to trial.
An experienced car accident lawyer could answer your legal questions about car accident trials in Dorchester and discuss your likelihood of success at trial. To get started on your case, call today to schedule a consultation.