This is the next post in our series on the handling of slip & fall cases in Laredo, Texas. Our last post discussed the importance of discovery in injury cases involving a fall. It is important to understand that cases are not won with evidence that is only uncovered at the last minute (contrary to what is often shown in popular media). Instead, matters are won by building a case through the meticulous accumulation of evidence. Retaining an attorney, who is experienced in conducting discovery, is important to ensuring that such evidence is accumulated. In this article we will discuss another important topic – what to expect at trial in such a matter. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact us today to speak with an injury lawyer.
We have previously discussed the process of taking a wrongful death case to trial. A similar process applies to premises liability cases. The matter will begin with the selection of a jury. The jurors will be selected from a pool of our local citizens. The attorneys for each side will ask questions of the potential jurors. Each side will be given a number of challenges which they may use to remove potential jurors from the pool. It is important to understand that a potential juror cannot be removed for reasons such as ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. The Judge will also ask questions of the potential jurors and, if it is clear that a given individual cannot be unbiased, then the Judge may remove them from the pool for cause. Once this process is completed then the jury will be empaneled.
Each side will make an opening statement once the jury has been empaneled. The opening statements are not a time for argument. Instead, each side may tell the jury of the evidence they will be presenting and how they will be requesting the jury to rule at the end of the case. The Plaintiff will then present their witnesses and evidence. The defendant(s) will present their witnesses and evidence and the Plaintiff will then be permitted to present “rebuttal” evidence. The Plaintiff may not use rebuttal to present new arguments. Instead, they may only use rebuttal to directly address claims made by the defendant. Each side will make a closing argument once evidence is closed and the jurors will enter deliberations. The jurors will decide all issues related to fault, comparative fault, and damages. Once the jury delivers their verdict then the matter will be concluded.
While the aforementioned process may seem straightforward, it can be quite complicated. The Court will enforce the rules of evidence when each side is presenting its case. This means that if evidence or testimony is not presented correctly, then the jury will not be able to consider it. Also, expert witnesses will likely be called in regards to both liability and damages. Having an attorney with experience in presenting expert testimony will be important to making sure that it is presented clearly to the jury. By retaining counsel with experience in such matters, one can improve their chances of a favorable outcome.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a fall, then contact my office today to speak with a Laredo injury lawyer. My office understands the importance of your situation and we will give your case the attention it deserves. We work to provide quality service and we look forward to speaking with you. We also serve other areas in south Texas.