The litigation process culminates in a trial. Depending on the case, trials can range from a day to several weeks. However, most personal injury trials are completed within a short time period. Trials can also be divided into several phases; these phases are the following:
- Jury Selection
- Presentation of Evidence
The first part of a trial is selecting the jury. The jury pool is selected at random from individuals that possess a driver’s license within the county. After the jury pool is created, the parties are permitted to voir dire the jury pool. Voir dire is a process where the attorneys are permitted to ask potential jurors questions to determine whether any of the jurors may be biased or not suited to serve as a juror in their particular case. After voir dire is completed, each party is permitted to remove a certain numbers of jurors. At this point, the remaining jurors are sworn in, and the trial begins.
When the trial begins, both parties are permitted to give an opening statement to the jury. Opening statements are intended to give jurors a general idea of what the case is about and to give the attorney an opportunity to layout a roadmap for how their case will proceed. After the opening statements, both parties present their evidence to the jury. Evidence is almost always presented through oral testimony, but documents and exhibits may be used as well. When all the evidence is presented, the parties then make their closing statements to the jury. Closing statements are the attorneys’ final opportunity to speak with the jury. Generally, the attorneys provide a summary of the presented evidence and argue to the jury the reasons, supported by the law, why their client is entitled to judgment in their favor.
After the trial portion has concluded, the jurors retire to a separate room to deliberate. Since there is no time restriction placed on jurors, juries may take a considerable amount of time to reach a decision. Their decision determines if any parties are liable and, if applicable, the amount of the award. Occasionally, juries are unable to reach a decision in the case. When this occurs, a new jury will be selected, and the case will be retried. Once the jury renders a decision, the decision is final.
We represent clients throughout the state of Arizona and are ready to assist you through this difficult time. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, please call the Law Offices of Michael Cordova at 602-265-6700. Our Phoenix Personal Injury Lawyers offer a free, personal, and confidential consultation to answer any questions and to explain your rights.