In a jury trial, the members of the jury study the presented information, trying to pick out the verifiable facts. The judge then provides them with a definition of negligence. The negligent driver is usually the one at-fault.
What are the possible sources of the presented information?
• Statements from doctors that have treated the victim’s injuries
• Statements from any first responders that were called to the scene of the accident
• Statements from an eyewitness
• The views of an engineer, regarding how well the roadway had been constructed
The opinion of someone that was an expert at the reconstruction of accidents: At that point, the jurors might view a drawing, one that was meant to show how the vehicles moved and collided with each other.
The injury lawyers in Grand Prairie might question a mechanic if some malfunctioning component appears to have caused the accident. The lawyers might question an expert on tire treads, if the investigator had found tire tracks at the scene of the collision.
The jury might hear statements from someone that lived in the area of the crash, if there had been multiple accidents at that same location. They might view footage from a video camera, one that had been focused on the spot where the vehicle collided. Both the plaintiff and the defendant could get called to the witness stand, where each of them would give their own version of what happened at the time of the accident.
The judge would be careful to rule against the presentation of certain bits of information
Any statements in the police report would not be shared with the jurists, since the judge would view that as hearsay. Moreover, there would be no way to cross-examine the person that had made the reported statement.
Any attempt by an attorney to offer a description of negligence might be challenged by the judge, since the jurors are supposed to judge all the facts against the judge’s definition of negligence.
During the time when the lawyers were questioning the witnesses, the judge would rule against any questions that seemed to be leading the witness, and suggesting that the same witness should be ready to say a certain thing.
A car accident case might be tried before a judge, instead of a judge and jury. In that case, the judge would make all the decisions. So, the judge would declare who should be held at-fault for the accident that had given rise to the tried case. In addition, the judge would determine the size of the court-ordered judgment. The decision by either a jury or a judge does not have to be the final word. Either side would have the right to appeal the court’s ruling.