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What to Expect When Your Illinois Auto Accident Case Goes to Trial

Many Illinois car accident cases will resolve during settlement negotiations, but there are always cases where both sides cannot find a number on which they will agree. In these instances, the case will be prepped for a trial date. This can feel daunting and scary as you do not know what to expect during this time. This is where you need a skilled Rockford car accident attorney who has years of experience facing off against defense attorneys in a trial.

Here is what you can expect when your case is going to trial in an Illinois court.

Jury Selection

Having a jury decide your case can be a major source of stress. Even with the best-prepared case, the jury can be unpredictable. This is why the selection process is so important and is one of the first things that takes place. Your attorney will ask pointed questions to potential jurors to find out who might have a bias. 

Opening Statements

Once a jury has been picked, the case will officially start with opening statements. This is where each attorney presents his or her side of the case through an opening brief. Each attorney will recount the client’s version of the events and discuss how he or she plans to prove each version as the truth. 

Presentation of Evidence 

After opening statements, both sides will call witnesses and present evidence. The plaintiff starts, as the burden of proving fault rests on the plaintiff, or the victim of the accident. In most cases, your attorney will start by calling you to the stand to recount what happened in the accident. Then, they will likely call any other witnesses to the accident who can corroborate your version of the events. 

Other evidence may include testimony from experts who can support that the treatment you had was necessary or the accident happened the way you described. Once your attorney is done presenting his or her case, the defendant will have the same opportunity.

Closing Arguments, Deliberation, and Verdict 

Before the jury is given instructions and sent to the deliberation room, each attorney will give closing arguments. This is essentially a summary of the evidence presented, and your attorney will make one last attempt at trying to convince the jury to find in your favor. This is where emotions can come into play, as there is no need to present evidence in the closing argument.

Next, the jury will deliberate. They are given instructions on what possible decisions can be made and what the implications are of each one. There is no time limit to decide, so jury deliberations can last a few hours or even days. Once the jury reaches a decision, they will return to the court and announce the verdict. This means either you win or lose the case, and if the jury finds in your favor, it will determine the settlement amount.

Contact a Rockford Accident Attorney Today

If you need to pursue a claim against an at-fault Illinois driver, contact Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. today to schedule an initial consultation.

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