If an Oregon personal injury case goes to trial, each party gets to have their "say." In other words, both the Plaintiff (the person bringing the claim) and the Defendant (the person defending the claim) get to put on a case. However, the party with the burden of proof often gets one last chance to respond to a defendant's evidence. This is known as the rebuttal case.
Although not required, the rebuttal case can be effective, but it has its limits. If a Plaintiff chooses to but on a rebuttal case, she is limited to addressing the evidence that was presented by the Defendant. A rebuttal witness need not have testified in the past, but is limited to testifying about the evidence that was presented in the defense case. This is not the time to offer evidence on a new topic.
Often, rebuttal evidence will involve responding to the opinions of a defense expert, or could involve responding to the Defendant's testimony on how an auto collision or other injury causing event occurred. Whether to put on a rebuttal case depends upon the strength of the original case in chief, and the strength of the defense case. Often, attorneys representing an injured Plaintiff may anticipate defenses, and address those anticipated defenses in their own case.
If you have a personal injury claim in Oregon or Washington, and have questions about how far you may have to go with your claim, call us at 503-325-8600. We have a lot of experience to offer, and can answer your questions.