What a Trial Entails

If you are considering consulting an attorney for your injury, you may be curious to know what happens in a bench or jury trial.

A trial happens only after the “fact-finding” phase, also known as discovery, takes place and only if the parties cannot come to an agreement on their own. A trial is held in order to determine the liability of the defendant and the amount of appropriate damages. The plaintiff has a burden of proving the defendant’s liability by a “preponderance of the evidence”. Unlike the criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a “ preponderance” is only that it is more rather than less likely that the defendant is liable. If illustrated in numbers, a preponderance of evidence could be only 51 percent.

A bench trial has no jury, leaving only the judge to determine the facts and damages. Both jury and bench trials have opening statements and each side will present evidence to prove their case. Witnesses may be called and each side’s attorneys will cross-examine these witnesses. After closing arguments are heard, the judge or jury will determine liability If the defendant is determined to be liable, the judge or jury will decide on an appropriate amount of damages to go to the plaintiff.

Navigating any trial, whether it is a bench trial or a jury trial, is best done by an experienced attorney. Even the smallest mistake could make a world of difference in the outcome.

The Metier Law Firm, LLC – Denver accident attorneys

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