Attorney Michael J. Redenburg has had his share of personal injury case trials in counties including Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island (Richmond) Queens and Manhattan (New York County).
In early mid-2023, Attorney Redenburg successfully represented an uninsured property owner in Queens County Supreme Court. In Queens County, civil cases are bifurcated, or split. This means that after a jury is selected, 6 jurors with 2 alternates, the “liability” portion of the trial commences. If the jury determines that the defendant was at fault for the accident, or determines that by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was at least partially at fault for the accident, then the case moves on to the next phase, which is the “damages” phase.
At the damages phase, the plaintiff’s attorney will need to call a medical doctor or MD; a chiropractor as a sole medical witness will not suffice. While plaintiff’s counsel often calls a treating doctor, they are not required to, and can call a non-treating physician that examined the plaintiff solely for the purpose of testifying at trial. While defense counsel can attempt to exploit this, it is permissible. The defense lawyer can call a doctor of her own or simply cross-examine the plaintiff’s testifying physician, as the defendant has no burden and it is up to the plaintiff to prove their case – not for the defendant to prove anything.
After the jury has heard all of the testimony, the attorneys will present their closing arguments with defendant’s counsel closing first and plaintiff’s counsel having the last word. Thereafter, the Judge will charge the jury.
The jury will be sent to deliberate and may even pass notes with questions to the Court Officer who will hand the note to the Judge. The Judge will discuss with the attorneys how the Court will answer the questions posed by the jurors. The jurors will then be sent back to finish their deliberations.
The jury foreperson will announce the verdict and the attorneys may ask that the jury be “polled,” to ensure that they ruled as they did.