This is the next post in our series discussing Fort Worth, Texas intersection accident cases. Intersection accidents are unique in that the parties commonly believe the other party is completely at fault and deny any personal responsibility for the crash. Our last post reviewed how evidence may be gathered through the discovery process and from accident reconstructionists to help establish a party’s liability. Without gathering outside evidence, it may be difficult to recover the compensation you deserve. A law firm with personal injury experience and significant financial resources can help ensure these tools are available to you. In this post we will discuss what to expect if your case proceeds to trial. Given the complexities of intersection accident cases, litigation can be highly complicated. It is important that you retain an attorney with trial experience. If you or a loved one have been injured, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights.
If a case is not settled with the defendant’s insurance company, it will proceed to trial. The trial process begins with the selection of a jury. The attorneys for each party as well as the judge ask questions of potential jury members to ascertain whether the person is capable of being impartial in their review of the case. the Judge may remove someone from the jury pool for “cause” if the person’s answers indicate they may be biased. The attorneys may also use a limited number of challenges to remove potential jurors from the pool based on their questioning. Candidates may not be removed or challenged for discriminatory reasons such as ethnicity, gender, or religion. Once the final group of jurors has been selected, then the jury will be empaneled.
Once the jury is selected, the attorneys for both sides will make their respective opening statements. The plaintiff will then present their evidence and witnesses followed by the defendant’s presentation of their case. After the defense has presented their case, the plaintiff may offer “rebuttal” evidence. As we have discussed previously, establishing the liability of the parties can be particularly challenging in intersection accident cases. At the conclusion of the evidentiary phase of the trial, eac side will then issue closing arguments and the jurors will deliberate. A verdict will be issued in regards to liability and damages.
During the evidentiary phase of the trial, the parties will likely include testimony from expert witnesses, such as accident reconstructionists, who will attempt to prove which party was at fault. The theory of comparative fault is very often an important element in intersection crash accident cases. In Texas, a person may still recover damages even if they were partially responsible for the crash, so long as they were not more than 50% liable. For obvious reasons, this is commonly an element of the case on which the parties present significant evidence. Additional evidence regarding the personal injuries and property damages sustained by the parties will also be presented during this phase. Depending upon the severity of the injuries involved, this element may also include expert testimony from both parties. How the jury will rule in any given matter will always depend on the specific facts of the case.
Given the complicated facts and theories involved in intersection accident trials, it is essential to retain a lawyer who is able to present such information to the jury in a clear and concise way. When selecting a Fort Worth personal injury attorney, we suggest that you retain a firm which employs multiple lawyers, with significant trial experience and the resources to vigorously represent your interests. These recommendations apply in Fort Worth and other areas of Texas.