The Phases of An Accident Legal Case

Many challenges face a lawyer preparing for a case. If negotiation for settlement fails, you and your lawyer are destined to go to trial, which is the most high-profile phase of the personal injury lawsuit process.

What happens in a trial? How does a lawyer go about the demands of a trial?

Although most personal injury disputes are resolved before the trial stage, a trial gives both parties the opportunity to present their sides and be heard.

A personal injury trial is typically consists of six main phases:

1. Selection of jury
2. Opening statements
3. Witness testimony and cross-examination
4. Closing arguments
5. Jury instruction
6. Jury deliberation and verdict

Selection of Jury

The members of the jury are selected by the judge who has the power to choose or exclude any candidate he thinks will not be objective in deciding the case.

Opening statement

After the jury has been selected, the next stage will be the opening statements of lawyers from both camps. In the opening statements:

• Your lawyer (plaintiff) presents the facts of the accident or injury and the other party’s involvement in the incident.
• The defendant’s lawyer gives their own interpretation of facts and presents their side of the story.

Witness Testimony and cross-examination

This is the stage when witnesses and experts are called to testify and give their accounts or expert opinion on matters. The witness testimony process adheres to certain standards:

• The witness is called to the stand and sworn in.
• Your lawyer will begin direct examination of the witness by asking questions to support your claim.
• After direct examination, it will be the defendant’s turn to question your witnesses and experts.
• After cross-examination, your lawyer will be given another chance to ask further questions before he rests his case.

Closing arguments

Like the opening statements, the closing arguments give both parties to summarize and wrap up their arguments.

Jury Instruction

The judge gives the jury a set of legal standards based on the injury claims at issue and the evidence present on trial.

Jury Verdict

The jury deliberates on the case and announces their verdict. If no verdict is announced, the judge may declare a mistrial and the case will have to be heard again and return to the initial stage of jury selection.

Going to trial may be the last option that a personal injury victim could undergo and it will be the most difficult part of a case. To increase your chance of winning a trial, it would be best to find a competent and knowledgeable lawyer who can handle the job well.

For more information regarding accident trial cases, contact professional trial attorneys at


Additional Personal Injury Information for Consumers


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