Many Ohio courts will place settlement conferences on their dockets to resolve issues and work toward a resolution of the claim before a trial must commence. If you are pursuing damages after a car accident, you may not be able to settle your claim outside of court. In that case, you and your motivated auto collision attorney at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy may need to head to trial.
The Franklin County trial process can seem intimidating, but with strong legal representation, you can collect the compensation you are entitled to receive.
Pre-Trial: Filing a Car Accident Complaint and Conducting Discovery
In Ohio, litigation starts with filing a complaint. The defendant will then file an answer. There can also be cross-claims, counterclaims, and other legal proceedings or documents filed in response to an initial complaint.
Generally, the first step is written discovery and production of documents. Those documents are followed by depositions and collecting evidence to be presented at trial. A well-versed lawyer at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy will work to avoid trial whenever possible, but if it is not, they are not afraid to stand up for you in court.
Discovery is the process of collecting evidence to present to a jury. In car crash cases, they will record doctor’s depositions describing your condition and treatment, so that the doctor’s testimony can be played in court if necessary. Once all discovery is conducted and relevant evidence is obtained, skilled attorneys can use arbitrations or mediations to resolve it outside the courtroom.
Once the claimant and their attorney decide that trial is necessary, the attorney strives to narrow down the issues in the pre-trial motions to make presenting the evidence easier in court.
Going to Court for a Car Crash Claim
An experienced attorney at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy can present your case in a strong fashion during the auto collision trial process, to help you get the compensation you deserve.
The first step in the Columbus car accident trial process is picking a jury. This is done by assessing individuals who were subpoenaed for mental and physical fitness, as well as ensuring none have mitigating issues like religious beliefs that prevent them from serving.
After the lawyers have chosen the jury, the legal representatives for the plaintiff (the injured party) and the defendant (the negligent party) will each give opening statements. These provide the jury with an overview of what they can expect the evidence to show.
Plaintiff Presents their Case
After opening statements, the plaintiff’s lawyer will present their evidence in the form of documents such as medical records, billing statements, X-rays, and MRIs. After reviewing documents with the jury, the attorney will then call witnesses.
In a motor vehicle collision case, these witnesses may include passengers in the car, uninvolved drivers, or pedestrians who saw it happen. Often the key witness is the plaintiff’s treating doctor, who can explain the injuries, treatment, and likely long-term effects of your injuries.
Once the plaintiff has concluded their case, their attorney may present motions on issues to try to further resolve the claim. If that is unsuccessful, the defense will begin their case by presenting their evidence in the form of testimony and/or documents, including cross-examination of witnesses who spoke during the plaintiff’s presentation.
Your trial attorney will then cross-examine the defense’s witness to bring out the favorable parts of your case. Finally, depending on the circumstances, rebuttal witnesses for either side could be called.
Finally, the prosecution will make a closing argument where the attorney sets forth the reasons why they should prevail in the case by reiterating the damages to the jury. The defense will then make their closing arguments, after which the plaintiff will give the jury one final argument before the judge provides them with instructions. The jury will exit to a separate room to render a verdict.
Other Car Accident Trial Nuances in Columbus
At any point in the motor vehicle accident trial process, objections may arise that a court must rule on. There is sometimes a sidebar where the attorneys will discuss a judge’s ruling on a particular issue outside of the presence of a jury. Trials have many other nuances, and it is best to speak with an experienced lawyer at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy to understand what unique factors may affect your trial.
Ask a Columbus Attorney about the Trial Process for Car Accident Claims
Aggressive attorneys can work with you if you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, either through fighting for a fair and reasonable settlement or going to court. With the right legal team, you can succeed in the Columbus car accident trial process.
Reach out to O’Connor, Acciani & Levy today to learn more.