This is the next post in our series on the handling of slip and fall cases in Austin, Texas. Our last article discussed the role of experts in premises liability cases. It is important to understand that experts are often necessary in order to establish whether or not the property owner was taking “reasonable” steps to keep the premises safe. One should retain a personal injury attorney with experience in dealing with such experts. In this article, we will discuss another important topic – taking such cases to trial. If you have been injured due to the fault of a property owner, contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation.
We have previously discussed taking a wrongful death case to trial. The process is similar in cases involving a slip and fall. The case will begin with the selection of a jury. Once the jury has been selected,each side will make an opening statement. The Plaintiff will present their case and then it will be the defendant’s turn. Once the defendant has presented their case the Plaintiff will have an opportunity to present “rebuttal” evidence. During the rebuttal stage the Plaintiff may address issues raised by the defendant but they may not raise new issues. Once all evidence has been presented, closing arguments will be made. The jury will deliberate before deciding whether the defendant is liable and the extent to which the Plaintiff should be compensated.
Trial is a complicated process and the rules of evidence will be strictly enforced. This means that if questions are not asked in an appropriate sequence or form then they may be disallowed due to an objection. Also, evidence will not be admissible unless a proper “foundation” is established and a proper request is made to the court. The jury will not be permitted to consider evidence, testimony, or other issues which are not properly admitted into evidence. When selecting an attorney, it is important that you inquire as to their trial experience and that you make sure that they have experience in handling such matters. Should your case not settle, and should trial be necessary, then having an experienced lawyer may make the difference in whether or not you are compensated.
Dan Christensen is a former prosecutor and military member. He has devoted his legal career to assisting others and our firm practices exclusively in the area of personal injury law. We recognize that this is a trying time in your life and we take such matters very seriously. We will quickly respond to your phone calls, promptly respond to your emails, and will make ourselves available to answer your questions. Call our Austin slip and fall lawyers today. We also service Travis County cities which include Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, the Williamson County cities of Georgetown, Cedar Park, and Leander, as well as other areas of Texas.