This is the next post in a series of articles discussing common issues in Fort Worth, Texas trucking accident cases. The previous post focused on bifurcated trucking accident trials, in which liability and damages are determined in separate phases by the jury rather than a single trial. Courts are most likely to grant such a request by the defense when a genuine dispute exists as to the liability of the defendant. This article will focus on what to expect during a traditional trucking accident case trial. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a trucking accident, contact an attorney as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights.
As previously discussed in this series, following a serious trucking accident, attorneys for the plaintiff will engage in lengthy settlement negotiations with the defendant’s insurance adjusters. If the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the case will proceed to a trial by jury. The first step in this process is voir dire, or jury selection. Members of the jury pool are questioned by the judge, who may remove jurors deemed incapable of being unbiased. Attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant may also question the potential jurors. Both sides are allowed to strike a certain number of unfavorable potential jurors and remove them from the pool. Once the final jury is empaneled, counsel for the plaintiff and each defendant may present their opening statements. The plaintiff’s attorney will then present its case followed by the defendant(s). Trucking accident cases commonly involve many expert witnesses. Both the plaintiff and the defendant(s) will retain experts to testify at the trial regarding the causes of the accident, accident reconstruction, potential damages incurred by the survivors, etc. Each party may issue a closing statement prior to jury deliberations. Once the jury has arrived at a decision, it will render a verdict. If the plaintiff’s case is successful, the jury will also award damages.
The litigation process can be complicated and lengthy. It is important to engage a law firm with trial experience to help you navigate the process. We also suggest that you retain a firm which has the financial resources necessary to retain the necessary experts to support your case through trial. This is our suggestion regardless of whether you were interested in Fort Worth, Dallas, or any part of the DFW area.