DC Catastrophic Injury Trial Process

The important elements in a DC catastrophic injury trial will depend on the facts and circumstances of that individual case. If there are liability issues, such as who is at fault, a qualified and trained personal injury attorney will concentrate on those issues or points.

Conversely, if damages are in question, that would be the main focus of the evidence and testimony presented.

Trial Process

The plaintiff or the person bringing the suit carries the burden of proof and therefore has the opportunity to present their case first. The plaintiff’s attorney will provide an opening statement followed by an opening statement by defense counsel.

The plaintiff will present the necessary evidence to the jury first to satisfy the requisite burden of proof based on the issues that are specific to that case.

Following the presentation of evidence by the plaintiff, the defense will have an opportunity to cross-examine any witnesses that were offered by the plaintiff. At the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case, the defense can present its case.

The defendant has the opportunity to present any relevant evidence that they wish to put forward to establish any affirmative defenses or cast doubt on the plaintiff’s case. Ultimately, the case is given to the jury for the final determination as to who is at fault and determining what amount, if any, damages the plaintiff is entitled to.

The attorneys present the closing statement; the plaintiff’s counsel is afforded the opportunity to go first as they bear the burden of proof.

Key Players At Trial

There are many key players present during a DC catastrophic injury trial process. The role of a judge in a catastrophic injury jury trial is fairly limited. A judge determines the legal issues and presides over the trial to ensure that it is conducted properly.

Catastrophic injury cases are typically heard by a jury. Ultimately, a jury will render a final decision about who is at fault and determine damage awards.

Role of the Jury

The jury is chosen at the beginning of the DC catastrophic injury trial process. Typically, the court plays a large role in selecting the jury along with participation of both attorneys.

A jury pool is a selection of registered voters and licensed drivers in the jurisdiction where the case is pending.

Typically, catastrophic injury trials are jury trials. On rare occasions, the case may be tried by a judge only.

Determining Preponderance

A Preponderance of evidence and who is at fault during a DC catastrophic injury case is determined by a jury. The burden of proof in a civil case is preponderance of the evidence, which differs from the beyond a reasonable doubt standard in criminal cases. This means merely meeting a threshold of 51%.