If you were involved in a motor vehicle crash due to another person’s reckless or careless actions resulting in your physical injury, you have a right to seek justice. An experienced car wreck attorney could help you pursue monetary damages by filing a personal injury claim.
Legal action might be the only way to obtain financial recovery following a motor vehicle collision that left you with expensive medical bills and missed pay from work. Reach out to a dedicated car crash attorney to learn more about filing a lawsuit and the typical process of car accident trials in DuBois.
After a personal injury lawsuit is filed and served, the defendant’s insurance company will appoint a lawyer to the case. The defense attorney will then begin the process of discovery—a period of time between when the lawsuit is filed and the trial occurs—in which both parties have the opportunity to learn about the opponent’s case. This is designed to prevent unfair surprises at trial. In the discovery process, relevant information must be exchanged
This includes interrogatories, which are questions that the plaintiff or the defendant must answer in writing. It also involves an exchange of relevant documents such as medical records, police reports, witness statements, tax returns, photos, videos, and other relevant materials.
During car crash litigation in DuBois, there will likely be depositions, where each party is placed under oath and asked questions by the opposing lawyer. Depositions are more informal than atrial and typically occur in a conference room. There is no judge or jury present; only the attorneys, a court of order, and a witness will be in attendance. Depositions allow an attorney to assess a witness’s credibility and obtain detailed information about how the accident occurred and the testimony that this witness will give at trial.
A defendant’s insurance company could request an IME—an independent medical exam—to be performed. This consists of a doctor examining the plaintiff and providing a written opinion relative to the injuries and prognosis. The defense chooses the doctor and pays for the exam. Frequently, IME reports will minimize the impact of the injuries or attempt to argue that something other than the subject incident led to the plaintiff’s condition – such as age-related arthritis, pre-existing conditions, or other life events that caused the pain.
Subpoenas are also commonly used during DuBois car wreck litigation to obtain necessary documents, evidence, or testimony from non-parties – those who have relevant information, but who are not a plaintiff or defendant in the lawsuit. This can include witnesses present at the time of the collision. Any witness could be compelled through a subpoena to attend and testify at a deposition. Additionally, subpoenas can be used to obtain evidence such as surveillance footage from a nearby business.
After the discovery process is complete, a pre-trial conference will be held, during which both attorneys meet with a judge. This gathering usually occurs several weeks or months prior to the beginning of the jury trial. During this time, issues that are still in dispute, as well as more specific legal proceedings are discussed such as:
Following this meeting, the court law will set an official trial date which both parties will attend and the jury will be selected.
A jury is selected at the beginning of the trial. Each potential jury member will be required to complete questionnaires prior to the court session, which both lawyers will have an opportunity to review. These surveys consist of a standard set of questions asked to all jurors to determine if they have any biases or reasons for which they cannot maintain fairness and impartiality, such as:
If a potential juror answers “yes” to any of the above, then they may have inherent thoughts or feelings that would render them unable to be impartial in a trial, and may therefore be released from their duty. Any jurors that are unable to serve will be stricken, leaving all remaining individuals to serve on the jury panel at trial. That typically includes a few alternates in case any unforeseen events prevent any of the primary jury members from fulfilling their duties.
Following a major collision with another vehicle, you may not know where to begin when it comes to next steps and pursuing legal action. You are likely trying to focus on your own physical recovery, not to mention dealing with how to move forward emotionally and financially.
Fortunately, a knowledgeable lawyer could help guide you throughout the entire legal process. Our committed team of attorneys at Marcus & Mack could answer any questions that you may have about car accident trials in DuBois. Call now to schedule a free consultation.