This is the next post in my series on the handling of Laredo, Texas auto accident cases which involve commercial vehicles. My last article discussed how damages are calculated in a commercial vehicle wreck. It is important to understand that the owner, as well as the driver, of such vehicles can be liable. Also, the owner may be responsible for additional damages due to negligent hiring and supervision of their employees. Such cases can quickly become complicated, and it is strongly suggested that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you. In this article I will discuss what to expect at trial in such matters. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office to speak with a personal injury attorney. My office also serves other south Texas areas.
I have previously discussed what to expect at a wrongful death trial. A similar process will be followed in other accident cases. The case will begin with the selection of a jury. Each side will be given a number of “challenges” which can be used to remove potential jurors from the jury pool. A juror may not be removed for discriminatory reasons (such as gender, ethnicity, etc.). Also, the Judge will remove a potential juror from the pool if it is clear that they cannot be impartial. Once the jury has been selected then each side will make an opening statement. The purpose of the opening statement is to inform the jurors of the evidence which they can expect to see and hear. Opening statements are not a time for argument.
The Plaintiff will present their case after opening statements have been made. The defense will then present their witnesses and evidence. The Plaintiff will then follow with “rebuttal” evidence and testimony. It is important to note that the Plaintiff may only use rebuttal to directly address claims made by the defense. This portion of the case may not be used for raising new arguments. After the conclusion of rebuttal, each side will make a closing argument to the jury. The Judge will give the jury a set of instructions which inform them of how they are to consider the evidence. The jurors will make their deliberations and will deliver a verdict regarding fault, comparative fault, and damages. This will conclude the process.
While the above-mentioned process may sound straightforward, it is not. The rules of evidence will be followed by the Court. Also, expert witnesses will likely be called so they can testify as to whether or not the company which owned the vehicle was following proper procedures in their hiring and supervision of employees. This means that your attorney must be able to present the case in a way that relevant evidence will be admitted. Also, your counsel needs to be experienced in presenting expert testimony and in presenting complex facts in a way that will be understandable by the jury. Failing to retain an experienced attorney can possibly have a negative impact on your case.
I am a Laredo injury lawyer who is experienced in handling commercial vehicle accidents. My office prides itself on providing a high level of service and we take pride in the results we have achieved for clients. We will stay in regular communication with you throughout the process and will make sure we are available to answer your questions. Contact us online or by telephone today.