When you have been wronged by the negligence or recklessness of another person, you may consider pursuing a personal injury case. However, you may feel confused or overwhelmed as to how the process works. Despite the different facts of each case the process for Louisiana personal injury cases is generally the same:
After Filing a Lawsuit
Once the case proceeds towards trial, the discovery process begins. Discovery allows for the chance to obtain documents from the defendants, and to ask them specific questions regarding the case. It also provides an opportunity to get documents from third parties and depose witnesses under oath. Your attorney may also hire experts in order to support your claims.
During the course of Discovery, you and the defendants will be deposed. The deposition process provides the chance to ask the other side background questions regarding the case. Depositions can often be unnerving for people, but a qualified attorney will prepare you for what is to come, helping to increase your comfort level as much as possible.
The discovery and deposition process provides a better understanding of the facts of the case and helps to prepare you and your attorney for the trial. Once discovery has been completed, if the case can’t be settled it will continue on to trial with the filing of a lawsuit.
The Steps Involved in a Trial
- First is the occurrence of voir dire, a process in which jury members are selected by attorneys and the judge in order to ensure that they do not have any biases or prejudices that could prevent them from being both fair and impartial.
- Next, the parties make opening statements. Generally, the plaintiff’s attorney goes first since the plaintiff has the duty of proving that their allegations meet the standards of a breach of duty. Opening statements are usually anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes.
- At trial, the evidence is presented to the court and the jury must decide whether or not they find it to be credible. Then each side provides a closing argument about the evidence presented. This time is used to persuade the jury to render a verdict in their favor.
Although personal injury suits are sometimes heard in front of only a judge (called a “bench trial”), they are generally heard in front of a jury, which decides your case and how much you are to be compensated.
- Once the jury reaches a verdict, they will notify the judge and they will return to the courtroom so that the verdict can be read to the parties and an official record of the court can be made.
Jury trials in car accident cases typically last a few days from the time that the jury selection begins until a verdict is reached.
Consult with a Qualified Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney
At Gauthier Amedee, our team of experienced Louisiana personal injury attorneys fights hard to protect your rights.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, contact Gauthier Amedee today at 225-647-1700 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.