McKinney Car Accident Trial Process

While a person seeking compensation for car accident injuries has certain rights, they may not have the necessary experience to pursue these avenues effectively. You could learn more about the McKinney car accident trial process by reaching out to a meticulous attorney to advocate for your rights.

Day One of the Trial: The Voir Dire

The first day of the car accident trial process in McKinney is referred to as voir dire. In the voir dire, the attorneys have an opportunity to talk to and question potential jurors one-by-one to discharge jurors they feel may not be able to be unbiased when determining the facts of the case.

Voir dire is one of the most important parts of the trial, since it is the lawyers only chance to size up a juror to determine if they have the capacity and will to fairly follow the law in a specific case. It might not matter what the law is if a juror will not follow it without prejudice or bias.

At the end of the voir dire process, both plaintiff and defendant will make challenges for cause against jurors who have shown significant and persistent bias against applying the law. Attorneys could also strike certain jurors from the list for any nondiscriminatory reason they wish. The first 12 people in district court, or six people in county court, who are not struck could then be seated and comprise the jury. The jurors are then sworn in and the case will begin.

Opening Statements

Opening statements are widely thought of as ‘a roadmap’ to what the jury is going to hear during the trial process for car accidents in McKinney. While the hardest thing for lawyers to do in a case could be a voir dire, the second hardest may be a good opening statement. This statement addresses the evidence that will be brought up in the case in a way that helps show the jury why this proof is or is not important. Both sides will do an opening statement.

The statement is not meant to be an argument and was designed to be an opportunity to explain to the jury what evidence they should expect to hear. The plaintiff will then begin the case in chief.

What the Plaintiff Must Prove

The plaintiff gets to choose what to put on their case, and they must ensure they have evidence for every required element of the case. Plaintiffs must demonstrate:

  • The defendant had a duty of care to the victim – for instance, to drive safely
  • The defendant was negligent, and their negligence caused the crash
  • The crash was a cause of each element of damages to the plaintiff

An element of damages is simply a type of damages. This could include lost earnings capacity, reasonable and necessary medical expenses, pain and suffering, or physical impairment. The plaintiff could do so through testimony and through exhibits. Exhibits are marked and offered into evidence.

The Defense’s Evidence

When the plaintiff rests their case, the defense typically files a motion stating that the plaintiff failed to make their case as a matter of law since they did not prove whatever element that they were required to prove to win their case. Such motions are filed, and routinely, they may be denied.

The defense could either present their evidence at that time or simply rest if they already cross-examined the witnesses and experts. After the defense has presented their evidence, there is an opportunity for the plaintiff’s rebuttal of the evidence. If the plaintiff wishes to call an additional witness to rebut evidence or testimony of the defense, then they have that opportunity. The defense then has an opportunity to call anyone and rebut as the plaintiff did.

When all the evidence is before the jury, the jury is read a document called the Court’s Charge. The jury then has the task of deciding the merits of the case dependent upon what they heard and saw during the trial. This is an actual document that goes with the jurors to deliberate in the jury room.

While both sides have the opportunity to affect the Charge, it is the judge’s responsibility to make a decision on what the Charge is going to look like. The Charge is read to the jury and then the parties have closing arguments. The plaintiff gets to go first in the closing arguments.

Closing Statements

Typically, the judge will give the parties a time limit to argue the case and some portion that time will be reserved by the plaintiff for what is referred to as the second closing. The plaintiff will open the closing arguments, and there is a rule that says that they must fully open, and not reserve all of their time until later. They must talk about all elements of liability and all elements of damages that they asked for in their original opening.

The defendant could then argue their case, and finally, the plaintiff gets to close. At the close of evidence, the jury leaves to deliberate. When the jury comes to a conclusion, the judge will read their verdict and the case is over. Whoever loses the case has an opportunity to poll the jury by asking each juror if the verdict was their verdict or not, and that is duly recorded for potential appeal purposes.

The judge will fashion a judgment from the verdict, and the party that won the case drafts the Judgment based on what the jury’s findings were.

Let a Car Accident Attorney Help You

A seasoned personal injury attorney who is familiar with the McKinney car accident trial process could help a person pursue their injury claim. If you are considering going to court following a vehicle crash, call a lawyer today. Legal counsel could explain your rights and champion your case.

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The McCraw Law Group
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Mary Thompson
Mary Thompson
20:51 25 Feb 20
From the very first meeting with the McCraw Law Group we were treated with respect and care. They were so helpful is... trying to speed things up. We all know that when you have a lawsuit against some one there will be problems. This group of lawyers were very attentive and knew how to get what we needed. I will call them again if anything comes up that I need a more
Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor
19:46 12 Feb 20
McCraw Law Group is an exceptional firm and I could not ask for more than what I received with their services. All of... their staff, from the clerks to the attorneys, were extremely helpful and caring and constantly asked me if I needed anything or if I had any questions or concerns. If you need to have someone on your side and trust them to have your best interests in mind, I would place that trust in The McCraw Law Group.Would I recommend them to my friends and family? I would without a doubt.Would I like to have them on the other side of a courtroom and going against them? Absolutely Not.To the staff that handled my case, I greatly appreciate all of your work and the result speaks for itself. Thank you!read more
Justin Hansen
Justin Hansen
12:29 07 Feb 20
The staff at the McCraw law group are second to none. They are intelligent and hard working people that will do their... best to make sure you are set to recover physically, emotionally, and financially from any injury. Thank you so much!!read more
Zane Allen
Zane Allen
04:39 18 Dec 19
I was in an accident in March and had injuries resulting from the crash. Obviously my first call was to a doctor to get... checked out but was told I was going to need physical therapy. My second call was to the McCraw Law Group. They took care of all of the grunt work so that all I had to focus on was getting better. They were very communicative about the process, and better yet, they were incredibly responsive to any emails, calls, and questions. I was very appreciative and thankful for all of their hard work. They are a great group of people to work with when you’re needing the more
Elisa Dean
Elisa Dean
15:38 16 Dec 19
I recommend The Mccraw Law Group to anyone who is hurt in an accident.My experience has been wonderful. They do the... best they can to get the most from the insurance company. My communications have been with Vanessa, Suzanne and Jason.Jason is very special to me. He understood my needs and was very caring and the sweetest attorney I have ever met. He was honest and did everything he could to bring my case to a conclusion.Vanessa and Suzanne are very sweet and are there to help every step of the more
Fernando Salas
Fernando Salas
19:07 10 Dec 19
First time needing a lawyer. Everything went extremely smooth and quick. Mr. McCraw went to my house after my car wreck... and I knew at that point that I was in good hands. Everyone who works there are so nice and will answer any questions or concerns you have. Thank you guys for all of your more
Adelyn Braswell
Adelyn Braswell
17:02 10 Dec 19
When me and my family recently got hit by a drunk driver. They helped us with everything we needed. We had so many... questions and didn’t hesitate to answer. It was our first time with any lawyer so they made everything so easy for us, and got it all done so quick. They did everything in their power to get us all the money we deserved. They were all so friendly and I would recommend them to more
Courtney Brooks
Courtney Brooks
16:12 12 Sep 19
I had a wonderful experience from beginning to end with the McCraw Law Group. My case was accepted and I was kept up to... date on how it was proceeding, and when it came to a settlement, we got more than expected. Everyone was very kind, the court proceedings went smoothly and I was extremely satisfied. I will definitely use them again if anything else more
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