According to CDC statistics, the percentage of the population in nursing homes is steadily increasing. As the population ages, this trend is likely to continue. Unfortunately, many nursing home facilities lack the resources necessary to ensure the safety and comfort of their residents. When nursing home residents fall through the cracks, abuse can become prevalent.
If your loved one has suffered abuse at a Rock Hill nursing home, they deserve financial compensation for their injuries. However, in some cases, the only way to recover those damages is through a trial by jury. While every case is different, nursing home abuse trials in Rock Hill typically follow the same process.
A jury decides most nursing home abuse trials in Rock Hill. In these cases, selecting that jury is the first step in the trial process. For every case, a large pool of jurors is brought in. The goal is for the attorneys and the court to whittle down the pool until twelve jurors are selected. In some cases, the attorneys will also select alternate jurors.
Jury selection is a critical part of the trial. Both attorneys have a set number of strikes that may be used to eliminate a prospective juror. These strikes can be for any reason. Once a jury is selected, the next step is opening statements.
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Opening Statements and Presenting a Case
Opening statements are opportunities to connect with the jury for the first time. Opening statements are less about arguing the case and more about setting the scene for the evidence the jury will see. This can include a summary of upcoming testimony or even a description of photos or video. The plaintiff will go first, followed by the defendant.
Once the attorneys complete the opening statements, it is time for the plaintiff’s case-in-chief. This is an opportunity to put on evidence and tell the jury their side of the story. The plaintiff’s case is often made up of witness testimony. This can include individuals who may have witnessed the assault occur or overheard the plaintiff discuss the nature of the abuse. After presenting all evidence, the plaintiff will rest their case. From here, it is the defense’s turn.
In response to the plaintiff’s case, the defendant has a chance to prove their case to the jury. Their nature of their presentation depends on the particular circumstances of the case. In some situations, a defendant may produce another party as the real perpetrator. Defense counsel may also cast doubt on the honesty of the victim.
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Closing Arguments and Verdict
After the close of evidence, both parties will have the chance to make their closing argument. The closing argument gives an attorney a chance to review the evidence the jury has seen. A closing argument will also tie together all of the strands of evidence to form a cohesive defense.
Once the closing statements are finished, the judge will provide the jury with some instructions before sending them to make a decision. The jury will deliberate before returning and announcing the outcome.
Let a Rock Hill Attorney Guide You Through the Nursing Home Abuse Trial Process
When a nursing home abuse case goes to trial, having an experienced Rock Hill attorney can go a long way. Your lawyer could go into trial day with no stone left unturned. To discuss how an attorney may be able to help you with your claim, call Schiller & Hamilton today to schedule a free consultation.