When abuse occurs in a Beaufort nursing home, the victim has legal recourse in civil court. By filing a lawsuit for monetary damages against the perpetrator and their employer, a nursing home abuse victim could hold them accountable for their actions.
In many cases, these lawsuits settle long before trial. When litigation is necessary, however, the process can be lengthy and complicated. While a nursing home abuse victim has the right to pursue compensation on their own, handling a lawsuit without the help of a skilled Beaufort nursing home abuse attorney could prove disastrous.
You could avoid the pitfalls of pursuing a nursing home abuse lawsuit by yourself with the help of a lawyer. Your Beaufort personal injury attorney could help evaluate your claim, investigate the accusations, and guide you through the nursing home abuse trial process.
Steps in the Trial Process
While every case is different, nursing home abuse trials typically follow a similar format.
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Before a jury trial can begin, the lawyers must select the jurors. In each case, the attorneys consider a large pool and strike a certain number of them until 12 jurors are selected. In some cases, a judge could add alternate jurors in case someone drops out during the trial. Following jury selection, the court will move into opening statements.
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Both sides have the opportunity to make an opening statement, starting with the plaintiff. An opening statement is designed to summarize the evidence a jury will see at trial. It is not meant to argue or be persuasive but merely highlight the upcoming evidence.
At the end of the opening statement comes the case-in-chief. This is the part of the trial where both sides present their evidence before a jury. Again, the plaintiff goes first. They have the opportunity to call witnesses, play videos, and offer exhibits that bolster the case. At the close of the plaintiff’s evidence of abuse, the defendant will have the right to do the same.
The closing argument is the opportunity for both sides to summarize what has happened thus far at trial. It gives each attorney the opportunity to tie their argument together with evidence they presented at trial. During this part of the trial, both attorneys have an opportunity to focus on persuading the jury.
Deliberation and Verdict
Following the closing arguments, the judge will read the jury instructions regarding their duty in the case. Then, the jury deliberates until they arrive at a decision, which could take hours or even days. Once the jury has finished deliberating, they inform the judge they have made a decision. The judge then reviews the decision of the jury before reading it aloud to all parties.
Let an Attorney Explain the Beaufort Nursing Home Abuse Trial Process
Although few nursing home abuse claims result in a trial, it is always good to have an attorney that is prepared for one. If the two sides cannot agree on a settlement, a trial is an ultimate way to resolve a case.
Preparing for litigation starts long before trial day. In fact, most of the legwork for building a successful nursing home abuse case occurs weeks or months before trial. To learn more about the nursing home abuse trial process in Beaufort, call Schiller & Hamilton for a consultation.