Mesothelioma Trials-What Are the Different 4 Stages Of The Trial?

A mesothelioma patient is not compulsorily required to attend the trial of his/her mesothelioma lawsuit because most times by the time the lawsuit commences the patient will be too weak to attend, but if the patient decides to attend then he/she must be prepared to go through the different stages pf a trial. Each trial is different but there is usually an order of events in all civil cases and they will all pass through the following stages:

1-First, the judge (and possible a jury) will hear opening statements. Your lawyer will start by outlining your case. In response, the defendant's lawyers will outline how they hope to disprove your case. Opening statements are not evidence, but a brief outline of what each position hopes to prove during trial.

2-After opening statements, both parties will submit evidence for the judge and possible jury to review. This will include factual findings and testimony. Evidence such as old receipts, air quality tests, and medical records may come into play. Personal friends, family members, coworkers, doctors, and related experts may also be called to testify. If you are going to testify, upon being sworn in, your lawyer and the defendant's lawyer will proceed to question you about the case. Before this portion of the case, your lawyer will have reviewed with you not only the questions he or she will ask, but also the questions the defendant's lawyer is likely to ask of you. It is very important to assert your side of the case while answering all questions honestly. Witnesses will go through the same testimony process as well. Physical evidence, such as medical records or work history, will be submitted as evidence to the court.

3-Presentation of the evidence is followed by closing arguments. This element of trial is extremely important, especially in the case of a jury trial. The plaintiff will give closing arguments first. This speech will sum up the facts, discredit the defendant, and ask the jury to empathize and rule in your favor. The defense will then present a closing argument as well, in which they will attempt to refute your claims.

4-If the trial involves a jury, all 12 members of the jury will retire to a conference room to deliberate after closing statements. Deliberation by the jury can take just an hour or two, or it can take several days. In high profile cases, the jury may be sequestered and sent to a hotel instead of home. However, in most civil cases, the jury is not sequestered. When the jury reaches a verdict, all are called back to court and the foreman of the jury (elected by the other jurors) announces the decision.

Sometimes upon the completion of this initial trial the defendants can appeal the verdict if it does not favor them, the period of time for this appeal varies sometimes it lasts up to a month and some other times it takes longer. If the defendant wins the appeal, you may also be able to also challenge this decision if factual errors are found or procedures were not carried out correctly. This depends on the court and on the details of the appeal case.

Keep in mind that at any point during the trial, you and the defendant can decide to reach a settlement out of court if the defendant is willing to pay a reasonable amount of money. Usually if the defendant's lawyer sees that you have a very strong case at some stage of the trial they will approach you for a possible out of court settlement. Once this is agreed upon the complaint by the plaintiff is withdrawn and the trial is stopped.

Mesothelioma victims should seek to know as much as they can about mesothelioma trials and lawsuits so that they do not get easily discouraged along the way.

Bello Kamorudeen.


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