Getting into a car accident is not the norm for most people. When individuals get into an accident for the first time, they can get confused about the actions that they should take. Most people are unsure if they should sue the at-fault driver or if there is more than one party responsible for the accident.
Most of the time, car accidents do not go through the trial process, but the plaintiff should be prepared when they do. Hopefully, this article will help you understand what happens in court for car accident claims.
Accident victims suffer huge medical bills and losses after a car accident. Most people do not go to court because they want to heal peacefully without causing any trouble, they think lawyers are expensive, or they want to avoid the long process of going to court. However, it can be hard to heal peacefully from your accident injuries when you are incurring huge medical bills for an accident that has been caused by an at-fault driver who is taking no responsibility for their actions.
It is important to note that a court process can be long and frustrating to go through but when you hire the right personal injury lawyer the legal issues can be dealt with smoothly. After an accident, most insurance companies will visit the patient at the hospital and offer them compensation. Most of the time the amount is lower than the accident victim should receive and they may feel like the best course of action at the time is to take the money. However, after taking the money you will be legally bound by the document you will sign and may not be able to file an accident claim in the future.
A car accident attorney can fight for you during an accident injury claim. They will help ready you so you understand what goes on in a courtroom. There is no need to be afraid when you have the best legal representation by your side.
Why a Car Accident Case Would Go to Court?
Most of the time, a car accident lawsuit will not proceed to court. The most recommendable thing to do is hire a car accident attorney. A car accident attorney will gather evidence by conducting investigations so they can be able to show the damages that you have incurred. When your lawyer and the at-fault’s party insurance company agree on a fair settlement, there will be no need for the case to go to trial. Even so, there may still be some instances where you will need to proceed to court.
Here are some of these situations:
When parties involved in the accident cannot agree on who is at fault after a car accident
If you do not get a fair settlement during the negotiation process
The insurance company does not agree to pay more even after negotiations with your lawyer
Most insurance companies prefer to settle car accident insurance claims by giving the lowest amount possible. This is because insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Suppose during negotiations the insurance company is adamant about making payments, or they insist that you are the one to blame. In that case, the experienced lawyer handling your case can advise you to proceed to trial.
What Happens During Trial?
After going to court and filing a personal injury lawsuit, the court is legally obligated to decide if the other party will be held responsible for the losses you incurred. When you go to trial, you are responsible for representing your case. You should convince the judge to rule in your favor. In the same way, you will have an opportunity to express your side to the defending party. Here are some of the stages that you will notice in a car accident case.
A Jury is Selected
If you are going through a trial by jury, the jury will be responsible for deciding issues involving your case, a judge will ask the potential jurors several questions during the jury selection process. The questions are meant to analyze if the individuals selected are biased or prejudiced and if it will impair the jury deliberation that they will make at the end of the jury trial.
Both Sides Make an Opening Statement
The attorney from your side and the defending side will each have an opportunity to make an opening statement. The opening statement is their opportunity to represent each party’s side and present the facts about the case.
Witness Statements Will be Made and Cross-Examination Done
Expert witnesses will be called so they can provide information about the case. During the witness interviews, the attorney's job will be to cross-examine the witness and look for any loopholes in the witness testimony that they have made so they can try and discredit their statements.
A Closing Argument is Made
Both parties will have a chance after presenting their witnesses at the end of the personal injury trial to make a closing argument. The closing argument is a chance to persuade the judge or jury to rule in their favor.
A Verdict is Made
If a jury is making the final verdict, the judge will direct them on how they will make the ruling. They will then meet in a room in the courthouse and deliberate on their decision. If a judge is deciding your case, they will take some time to contemplate the facts and evidence presented and then decide on the proper compensation at the end of the case. It can take a few hours or days for the jury to agree on a verdict.
If all goes well during the trial, you will be awarded a fair settlement agreement. Personal injury claim cases are expensive cases. An experienced personal injury attorney will rarely take a case that they do not see as having a winning potential. You can have a Chicago personal injury attorney evaluate your legal matters and tell you if you have a potential lawsuit in your hands.
Why You Should Not Be Afraid of the Aftermath of Going to Court
For most, the idea of going to court is not appealing, and they may be worried about having to go to court. However, here is why you should not be afraid:
If you hire an experienced lawyer, they will know their way around the courtroom.
Your lawyer will be in charge of handling everything concerning your trial. Even though you will have to provide your testimony in court, you will have a lawyer to prepare you and guide you on how to give your testimony, so you’re no longer afraid.
Most lawsuits are resolved before trial or in the early stages of the accident trial.
At our Chicago car accident attorney law firm, we are good at what we do. As experienced car accident lawyers negotiate cases and are ready to bargain for a fair settlement on your behalf out of court. Most of the time we are able to get a favorable settlement before proceeding to court. However, if your experienced car accident attorney cannot get an excellent out-of-court settlement, we are not afraid of going to court. We will go to trial and make sure that you get the best possible outcome. You can book your free initial consultation and talk to an auto accident attorney.