You will probably be glad to hear that the majority of car accident insurance claims are settled before they become a lawsuit. And of the car accident lawsuits that are filed, the majority will be resolved by an out of court settlement before going to trial. However, not all car accident cases are resolvable outside of the courtroom. Whether the parties are unable to agree on who caused the accident or are struggling to come to an agreement on the amount of compensation that the plaintiff should be awarded for their injuries, there are several reasons why a case might eventually end up in court. Here’s what to expect from the process.
Hiring a Lawyer
If your car accident case is going to court, it’s likely that you are going to need to hire a good car accident attorney to represent you. Detroit MI Auto Accident Attorneys can help you navigate all the specific details of your case and stay one step ahead of insurance adjusters to ensure that you get the best outcome. An experienced car accident lawyer will understand the process of going to court and can help you make the best decisions throughout.
In the majority of states, a jury will decide the key issues in your car accident case. It is usually a group of twelve people, but it could be fewer. The jury will be selected during the first phase of the trial known as voir dire, and they will be asked questions to determine if they have any prejudices or biases that will keep them from being impartial and fair during your case.
The opening statements will be made once the jury has been selected. The first will usually be from the plaintiff’s attorney since the plaintiff will need to prove all of the case allegations. The purpose of the opening statement is to allow each party’s lawyer to set the stage for the jury and lay out both sides of the case.
Presentation of Evidence
Evidence will then be presented by both the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff’s attorney will go first since the ‘burden of proof’ lies on this side. Witnesses may be called to present evidence on the issues by both sides, and in some cases, expert witnesses might be asked to take the stand.
Closing Arguments and Jury Deliberation
Once the evidence has been presented, each side’s attorney will give a closing argument, which is the opportunity to persuade the jury to draw certain conclusions from the evidence that they have seen. The jury will then proceed to a separate room where it will deliberate on the evidence and eventually reach a verdict. Jury deliberations are strictly confidential and a verdict will typically be reached in a car accident case within hours, although there is no set time limit and this could vary depending on the specific details of the case.
While most car accident cases do not go so far as to reach court, there are some circumstances where you may have to prepare for a trial.