Court Trial in a Car Accident Case
Your car accident case may be resolved without having to file a civil lawsuit, as an attorney can typically negotiate a fair settlement offer through negotiations. However, when the other party does not agree to make a fair offer, the attorney may advise taking your case to trial.
In a court trial for a car accident case, the plaintiff and the defendant’s attorneys present their sides of the case before a judge and jury. The jury will then issue a verdict, which may award compensation to the plaintiff for their damages. The court trial process can be complicated, and you may want to have a lawyer on your side to advocate for your best interests.
The Court Trial Process: What to Expect
If you are working with a lawyer, they will begin the court trial process by filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. Your lawyer will also ensure that all necessary court paperwork is in order and submitted on time.
In a civil lawsuit for a car accident case, your lawyer’s goal will be to show that the liable party’s negligence was the direct cause of your accident, injuries, and losses. Therefore, your legal team will prepare your case for trial by gathering the strongest possible documentation, witness testimony, or other evidence that supports your case for damages.
Here is what you can expect from the court trial process:
You May Reach a Settlement Before Court Proceedings Begin
Just because you filed a lawsuit does not mean that your case will make it to the courtroom. Filing a suit is the next step when settlement negotiations do not produce the results you hoped for. At this stage, many insurance companies will consider making a fair settlement. After all, the company may not want to waste the time, resources, and expense of going to trial.
The Jury Will Determine the Outcome
In many cases, juries determine the results of a court trial for a car accident case. The jury will be selected in the initial stages of the trial process. Jurors are chosen if they can take a neutral view of the case’s facts—jurors with clear biases toward certain elements of the case should not be elected.
Evidence Presentation by the Plaintiff and Defense’s Counsel
Following opening statements from both parties’ attorneys, legal representatives from both sides will present their case. The plaintiff’s attorney usually goes first.
Presenting evidence in a jury trial often includes calling witnesses to the stand and questioning them about key details of the case. The attorney may call the plaintiff to testify about their injuries and hardships after the accident. If available, the plaintiff’s doctor may also be called for questioning. By bringing the injury victim’s doctor to the courtroom, the plaintiff can show an even clearer picture of their health condition and how the injuries affect their life.
The defense attorney will proceed in a similar manner. They often bring their own witnesses for questioning to demonstrate the defendant’s side of the car accident case.
Closing and Jury Deliberation
Once the evidence presentation is concluded, both sides will make closing statements to the jury. The jury will then proceed with deliberation to determine the outcome of the trial. This may take anywhere from several hours to several days.
When the jury makes a decision about the case, they will issue a verdict and notify the judge. Finally, the judge reads the verdict in the courtroom and the parties are informed of their awards or liability for damages.
The Final Step: Collecting Compensation
If you are awarded damages in a court trial, your case is almost fully resolved in your favor. However, receiving a check from the liable party can take time. For this final step in your case and all other legal tasks involved after a car accident, you may want to seek out a lawyer’s help. They can tell you everything you need to know about a court trial for a car accident case and other details of the legal process.
Benefits of Working with a Car Accident Lawyer
When you work with a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer, you can transfer the burden of your car accident case to your legal team. In addition to filing a lawsuit and navigating a jury trial, a Fort Myers personal injury attorney can also help you:
- Calculate the cost of your damages
- Identify the liable party or parties
- Gather evidence from a wide range of sources
- Seek a fair settlement through out-of-court negotiations
- Handle all communications with other parties in the case
- Inform you of relevant state or local laws that may apply
- Protect your rights through every step
Contact the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato for a Free Case Review
Our team is ready to get to work for you. At the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato, our personal injury lawyers Fort Lauderdale take great pride in offering you the care and personalized attention you deserve. We treat our clients like family and advocate for them from start to finish. To learn how we can help with your car accident case, call us today at (954) 633-8270 for a free case review.