Car Accident Trial Process in Long Island
The trial process for a car accident case in Long Island begins with opening statements where the plaintiff’s attorney and the defense attorney can present to the jury what they intend to prove in the case. Then the plaintiff puts on their case first.
Usually, the plaintiff testifies and witnesses also might testify on their behalfs, such as family members, doctors, experts, and engineers if necessary. Sometimes, it is just the plaintiff and one other person and the plaintiff rests, meaning they have presented their case.
Next, the defendant puts on their trial on Long Island. It is the same process, which means there might be a defendant driver and some witnesses, such as an eye witness and a police officer used. After the defendant rests, each side gets to make their closing arguments to the jury. After that is done, the judge instructs the jury to deliberate and tells them how they are going to deliberate and what questions they are going to have to answer to come up with a verdict. Talk to an experienced car accident lawyer in Long Island for more on the steps involved in this process.
Important Elements in a Car Accident Trial
For car accident trials in New York, medical information proving the serious and permanent injury is important. There is a lot of litigation about whether the plaintiff has met the serious and permanent injury threshold. The plaintiff’s attorney wants to make sure that the record is clear and that the plaintiff has proven a serious and permanent injury. Whether it is by the plaintiff’s own words and by the medical testimony and documentation through MRIs or X-rays, proving injury is an important action.
Bench Trials vs Jury Trials
It is important to note that car accident trials can be bench trials, but more often than not they are jury trials.
Bench trials would occur in a car accident trial process if the plaintiff’s attorney believes that the plaintiff might be better off with the judge than with a jury. That would depend on the venue. The plaintiff’s attorney may believe that the plaintiff might be better off with a judge than with a jury in a particular jurisdiction because the plaintiff has something about them that might be prejudicial to a jury.
For instance, if a plaintiff has a significant criminal record but is bringing a car accident case, even though the criminal record may not be relevant to the jury, the jury could hear that. Thus, they might be prejudicial about the plaintiff’s situation so the plaintiff’s attorney might choose to hear a bench or a judge trial. However, the defendant has to agree to that too. If the defendant does not agree, it goes back to a jury trial.
There are some other methods of bench trials in New York. They are experimenting with some trials where it is supposed to be an expedited trial, meaning that it would happen quickly and with no appeals. It is a one-day trial and it is just a judge trial. Some plaintiffs like the idea of finality, so they will choose to do that. Again, jury trials are much more common.
Hiring a Long Island Litigator
It is important to acknowledge that the car accident trial process on Long Island is not easy. It is a partnership between the lawyer and the person. The person has to make a commitment that if they are hurt, they have to follow through on medical treatment because proving that serious and permanent injury is vital in New York.
Even if attorneys prove that serious and permanent injury threshold, they always want to make sure that the person understands where the case is at any given point. There is constant communication between the attorney and the person to try to ensure the best outcome for them. Call today for more information about the Long Island trial process.