Why Do Car Accident Claims Go to Court?
In the United States, going to court (trial) is the last ditch option when parties to a car accident can’t settle outside of court. If you’re taking a car accident claim to court, it’s likely negotiating a settlement has gone nowhere, so now it’s time for a judge and jury to decide where fault rests in your case and how much you will be awarded in damages. For answers to the questions claimants frequently ask when their car accident claims go to court, read on. We provide most affordable car accident lawyer Woodhaven services!
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Do Most Car Accident Claims End in Court?
While TV and other popular media make it seem like car accident claims are litigated all the time, the vast majority of claims are actually settled outside of court. While the exact numbers fluctuate, for years it’s been widely accepted that close to 95% of claims get settled out of court. Five percent of claims may seem like a small amount, but if you’re taking a claim to court, the last word you’ll use to describe the process is small.
What Causes a Car Accident Claim to Go to Court?
Although it’s quite uncommon for car accident claims to end up in court, there are a few key reasons why some claims go to court, including:
- Your insurance provider does not want to pay a fair settlement.
- Your lawyer and your insurance provider can’t come to an agreement regarding how much should be paid in damages.
- Your lawyer and your insurance provider disagree on the issue of fault.
Although insurance is technically a form of protection against lost, it’s an unfortunate truth that insurance companies do whatever is possible to pay their policyholders as little as possible. An insurance company may present you with a lowball offer, hoping that you’ll take it and preclude the process from getting more costly.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve an Accident Claim in Court?
Taking your car accident claim to court will elongate the process quite significantly. Settling a claim outside of court often takes several months to a year, whereas going to court can take multiple years. This is because when a case goes to court, a lot of formal processes have to be followed, with the lengthiest one being discovery (evidence gathering).
Does Taking a Car Accident Claim to Court Make the Process More Expensive?
Along with making the process longer, taking a car accident claim to court will make the process more expensive too. While you won’t be paying costs related to bringing the claim to trial out of pocket, your car accident lawyer will be, and since they’ll need to recoup after they secure you damages, in the end you are paying for the added expenses. Gathering evidence and bringing in expert witnesses can cost a pretty penny, and if your firm is tapping into some valuable resources to prove your case, you can expect to pay top dollar for these.
What Happens When a Car Accident Case Goes to Court?
There’s a specific process that must be followed when a car accident claim goes to court. If you’re thinking about bringing a car accident claim to court, here’s a general outline of what you can expect:
Jury Selection: Juries are often used to decide questions in a car accident case. During jury selection, 12 individuals are selected to be jurors, but juries can be smaller. The judge will ask potential jurors questions to see if they demonstrate any prejudices or biases that may cloud their judgment.
Opening Statements: The lawyers of the parties to the case will read their clients’ opening statements. In an opening statement, a lawyer will note the facts of the case and summarize their client’s positions.
Witness Testimony & Cross Examination: During this stage, parties to a case will present relevant evidence, and one crucial kind of evidence in car accident cases is witness testimony. Each side will have a chance to question (cross-examine) the witnesses.
Closing Arguments: Once all evidence has been presented, the lawyers will make their clients’ closing arguments. A party’s closing argument is likely to be similar to their opening statement.
Jury Instructions Are Given by the Judge: Now the judge will give the jury instructions regarding how they must reach their verdict. The judge will also let the jury know which laws apply and what their responsibilities are.
The Jury Deliberates and Then a Verdict Is Reached: The last stage of the process is jury deliberation. The jury may take hours, days, or even a week to reach a verdict. Once a verdict is reached, it’s delivered. After this, the trial is over.
What Kind of Evidence Can Be Brought in a Car Accident Case?
During the trial, your car accident lawyer may rely on a range of evidence to prove your case. Listed below are examples of evidence that your lawyer is likely to use to prove your case:
- Medical records
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert witness testimony
- Photos of injuries and damage
- Photos of the crash site
- Police reports
Evidence is gathered in a process known as discovery. Before the trial begins, all evidence that will be presented needs to be submitted, and this is to ensure parties have adequate time to look at all the evidence. There are, however, instances where evidence gets submitted, and is accepted, after discovery. Delayed evidence submission can elongate a trial.
What Will a Car Accident Lawyer Do When a Claim Goes to Court?
Having a car accident lawyer on your side when your claim goes to court is likely to yield positive results. A car accident lawyer faq will present your case in the best possible light, and they’ll use proven tactics to persuade the jury into ruling in your favor. Plus, they’ll make sure all your rights are protected before, during, and after the trial.
Keep in mind that you’re not guaranteed compensation just because the claim goes to trial. For example, if a jury rules that you are 100% at fault for the accident, you won’t be able to claim any damages. But if you lose your case, you won’t have to pay your lawyer, as car accident lawyers in New York work off contingency; in other words, they only get paid if their clients win.
Reach out to Hurt 511’s car accident lawyers in Woodhaven when you need best-in-class legal representation following a car accident. We’ve taken plenty of claims to trial, and we’ve secured hundreds of favorable rulings.