When should you go to trial in a car accident case?

The trauma of a car accident is stressful and trying.  The good news is that most automobile accidents are settled out of court.

Accidents have severe legal and financial consequences and take a toll on everyone involved. Regardless of how severe it is, you have rights and should fight for full compensation for your injuries in court when a settlement does not happen. You do not have to fight alone, either. An experienced attorney will help you get what you deserve.

The Reasons a Car Accident Claim Might Go to Trial

The most common reason a car accident claim will go to trial is if the settlement is unfair or the insurance companies are acting in bad faith. Insurance companies and the victim sometimes cannot reach a reasonable agreement.

In the case of two parties failing to agree on a settlement, going to trial helps to reveal evidence to prove the case of the victim. The outcome of a trial is often more than the offered compensation.

The purpose of seeking compensation is the second most common reason why car accidents go to trial. For example, an insurance company will not pay the insurance holder the full amount for their damaged or destroyed vehicle.

If an accident victim feels they deserve more than the insurance company offers, they should not try to go to court alone. Professional and knowledgeable attorneys are out there that want to help someone get what they deserve and need to pay medical expenses, car damages, and even emotional distress.

Trials are extremely stressful and are an overwhelming, and sometimes long, process. Legal experts increase the chance of success. Sometimes an attorney can even reach a reasonable settlement that otherwise was not possible before the threat of a trial.

The Steps of a Car Accident Trial

In most cases, a jury decides a court case, not a judge. It means that the first step of an accident-related trial is choosing a jury of peers. A jury is randomly selected to avoid any potential bias. Every jury member is asked various questions to decide if they are a fit for the case.

After a fair jury is selected, a trial date is then set. The victim and attorney work together will collect information and witness statements needed to get the compensation they deserve. An expert attorney knows the law and what information they need to help someone pursue compensation through the court system.

The next step is opening statements. It is when an attorney first presents the case to the jury. The insurance company will counter with why the victim does not deserve compensation, sometimes claiming the insurance holder was partially at fault.

The plaintiff or their attorney will then present the case in full. It includes why they have a right to compensation, share proof with the court, and give truthful, and correct evidence as to why the plaintiff has the right to the claim. Most of the time, the party that is filing the claim will present first.

During the presentation of the case, attorneys rely on witnesses and expert testimony from people including – witnesses, bystanders, doctors, medical professionals, psychologists, and other relevant experts that can add to the case.

Next, it is the defendant’s turn to present their case.  They have the right to share their version of events. The insurance company’s attorneys will call the same type witnesses as the plaintiff.  

After both sides present their case, both lawyers will wrap up their sides of it during closing arguments. The recaps are to encourage the jury to decide in their favor.

One of the most stressful parts of the trial process is deliberations. It is when a jury goes to another room to decide the verdict of the case. The process can last a few hours, or even several days.

Finally, after deliberation comes to the verdict. The jury hands their decision to the judge to read. If the case is in favor of the plaintiff, they will receive compensation for the injuries or the initial claim amount.

The thing with court trials is if the jury does not find in favor of the plaintiff, no compensation at all is awarded and the case is considered closed.

Collecting Compensation

It is sometimes not cut and dry when the court case is over. Sometimes insurance companies will draw out appeals and attempt to delay or void their responsibility. It is why having an attorney is imperative for a good outcome and to reduce your stress.

If the losing party exhausts all efforts to file motions, compensation generally comes within weeks. But, the process could take several months. It is not as easy as a bank deposit after the verdict is given.

Medical bills are only one aspect of compensation. A lawyer knows the law and what you deserve. While going to trial is rare, you never want to go it alone. You should always seek the expert advice of an attorney. It is a stressful time in your life, and you need to recover, not worry about trying to get what you deserve.  Let a lawyer do that for you.