Personal Injury Lawsuit Stages – Part 3
There are many steps in a personal injury lawsuit. Now you’ve completed discovery and all pre-trial motions have been argued and resolved. You’re almost ready for opening statements, but there are just a couple of important steps left. Contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance with the steps in your personal injury lawsuit.
The first thing you can expect, once all motions have been argued, is that the court will strongly encourage you to find a way to settle the case. Trials are complex, expensive, time-consuming and exhausting for everyone involved. The judge will likely try to make you see why it’s in your best interests not to go in front of a jury.
However, before you can make an opening statement to a jury, you need to have a jury. Before the actual trial commences, you’ll need to go through what’s known in the legal profession as voir dire, the seating of a jury. The process can vary in minor details from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but typically goes as follows:
- Potential jurors are randomly selected from a pool
- Those jurors are questioned by attorneys for both sides, with questions typically designed to determine whether the prospective juror can render an unbiased decision.
- Attorneys pick the jury by exercising (or not exercising) challenges to potential jurors. There are two types of challenges—peremptory and for cause challenges. A peremptory challenge allows you to dismiss a jury for any reason—the color of their hair, skin, clothes they are wearing, etc. There are a limited number of peremptory challenges. Challenges for cause, on the other hand, are unlimited, but must be based on legitimate cause. Ultimately, the judge will determine whether a party has stated sufficient cause to dismiss a potential juror.
In addition, some courts will have the parties submit proposed jury instructions before trial. Jurors are charged with making determinations of fact, but once they have done so, they must apply the facts to the law. However, they are not expected to know the law, so they are provided with jury instruction, telling them what legal conclusion they must come to based on their findings of fact.
Contact Our Office
If you or someone you love has been injured at work in New Jersey, we can help you seek full and fair compensation for your losses. For a private meeting with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at 732-247-3600 or in Somerville at 908-448-2560.