Car accident trials in Columbia follow many of the conventions of other civil suits, but certain specifics are unique. Whether the accident was caused by bad weather, a distracted driver, a driver that was falling asleep, or even a drunk driver, a seasoned attorney from AW Smith Law may be able to explain those specifics and guide you through the complex trial process. Reach out to a dedicated car wreck attorney today.
The litigation process starts with a plaintiff filing a petition, the defendant filing an answer, both parties engaging in written discovery, and depositions. Then, pretrial motions may be filed and there will be a pretrial conference to settle disputes about procedures and the evidence being presented. When a Columbia car accident trial begins, the first process is picking a jury.
Each side gets to ask a variety of questions to find out whether there are pre-existing biases that would prevent a juror from being fair and impartial. Following the selection of the jury, the plaintiff gives their opening statement, followed by the defendant giving their opening statement. The plaintiff then presents their case by not only presenting evidence but examining witnesses.
Once the plaintiff has submitted their case in its entirety, the defendant follows and does the same by introducing evidence and examining their own witnesses. During both witness examinations, the other party is allowed to cross-examine them. Following the submission of the defendant’s case, the plaintiff and defendant will give their closing statement and in certain circumstances, the plaintiff may give a short rebuttal closing statement in car accident trials in Columbia. Afterward, the jury will go into a sealed room and deliberate over the evidence, eventually deciding on an outcome.
Even if there are several defendants, the litigation will proceed in the same fashion and order. However, instead of having one defendant, there are several. The process remains the same except for the likely addition of more evidence. Additionally, the breakdown of damages may be altered by further spreading out liability for compensation due to comparative fault.
AW Smith law offices have much experience handling insurance companies after a claim is made. The insurance company may attempt to minimize potential compensation to a victim to protect their profits. However, a determined attorney could help fight for the best result.
If a lawyer presents arguments against several defendants, they must make certain that when they are speaking to the jury, the jury is clear about which defendant the lawyer is speaking about and what fault or negligence is being attributed to each. In certain circumstances, an experienced AW Smith Law office attorney may lump multiple defendants together as equally negligent. Under other circumstances, one person may share most of the negligence. A lawyer will follow the same basic structure as with a single defendant, but they must be clear about who shares what portion of the fault, so the jurors understand the situation.
The length of litigation in a car accident case is dependent on the circumstances. The more serious the injury, the more complex the circumstances of the accident and the more defendants there are, the longer litigation will likely take. It may take years for the litigation process to be completed and the matter to proceed to trial. The length of a car accident trial in Columbia may also differ if it is a jury trial or a bench trial with a judge.
If you have been in an auto wreck, you may need the services of an attorney from AW Smith Law. Whether you are pursuing compensation for injuries and your damaged vehicle or protecting your rights from someone suing you, a lawyer could help guide you through car accident trials in Columbia. Call today to learn more and get started on your case.