Car accident trials are rarely met but they mark a culmination of civil lawsuit proceedings. They deal with personal injury cases and are associated with car accidents.
During the car accident trial, the parties involved will present evidence to the judge or jury. This includes the defendant and the plaintiff, which are almost always represented by attorneys. The evidence presented does include relevant documentation and witness testimony.
The car accident trial can be heard by just one judge. This is known as a bench trial. Alternatively, it can be presented in front of a jury, which is referred to as a jury trial. When looking at some US states, the jury trial might be requested by the defendant with the official complaint that starts the lawsuit.
The Evidence Presented In Car Accident Trials
As the trial happens, both parties involved are allowed to present their evidence. However, it is the plaintiff that has the responsibility of proving the case. Basically, the victim needs to prove that everything mentioned is exactly what happened. This can only be done with proof.
The plaintiff needs to convince the judge or jury that the person that is sued was negligent during the operating of the vehicle. Then, it has to be proven that it was this negligence that led to the car accident happening, together with all its outcomes, which includes the injuries of the plaintiff.
In order to prove the case, the attorney of the plaintiff will present evidence like:
- Testimonies – These can come from witnesses, expert witnesses, and plaintiffs.
- Documents – This is practically evidence related to the plaintiff’s medical treatment, losses (legally known as damages), and injuries (oftentimes documented through paperwork coming from medical professionals, clinics, or hospitals).
In most trials, the plaintiff is the main witness. He can testify and say details about what happened, the resulting injuries, how they happened, how severe they were, and extra details about the pain and suffering that followed the accident.
As in any trial, the defendant can cross-examine witnesses, including the plaintiff. It is also possible to object to some of the evidence presented. It is the judge that will ultimately decide the evidence that will be kept out and the evidence that is going to be admitted. This is done based on rules of evidence.
The plaintiff presents their case and then the defendant has the same option. This is especially the case when there is a counterclaim filed, which is when defendants try to prove that plaintiffs were the party to blame for the car accident. Alternatively, the defendant might want to prove that the injuries of the plaintiff were not that severe. It is also possible to present evidence that injuries existed before the accident. As before, plaintiffs are allowed to cross-examine defendants or witnesses. They can also object to the presentation of evidence.
As soon as both sides involved in the trial presented the case, the jury or the judge will listen to the closing arguments. This is where attorneys will directly address the jury. Evidence is summed up and the final case is made so that a favorable verdict can be reached.