When you’re in a car accident, the last thing you want to think about is what could happen down the road if your case goes to trial. But it’s important to be aware of the potential outcomes so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what happens in a car accident trial and how you can prepare for the process.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Atlanta, contact our Atlanta car accident attorneys. Our experienced lawyers will walk you through the process and help make sure you are as prepared as possible.
What Is a Car Accident Trial?
A car accident trial is a formal court proceeding in which a judge or jury hears evidence and decides who is at fault for a car accident. If you have been involved in a car accident, you probably wonder whether you should go to trial or settle your case out of court.
There are pros and cons to both options, and the best course of action for you will depend on the facts of your case. If you decide to go to trial, be prepared for a long and complex legal process.
Trials can be expensive, and there is no guarantee that you will win. However, if you do win, you may recover more money than you would have through a settlement.
On the other hand, settlements are typically faster and less expensive than trials. Settlements also allow you to avoid the risk of losing your case entirely. Ultimately, the decision of whether to go to trial or settle your case is up to you. However, you should consult with an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney before deciding.
How Does a Car Accident Trial Work?
The liability phase is when the judge or jury hears evidence to determine who was at fault for the car accident.
If the judge or jury finds that you were not at fault, then your case will end there, and you will not be able to recover any damages. However, if the judge or jury finds that you were at fault, your case will proceed to the damages phase.
In the damages phase, the judge or jury will hear evidence to determine how much money you are entitled to recover. This may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.
Once the judge or jury has calculated your damages, they will issue a verdict in your favor. If the other party does not pay the amount specified in the verdict, you may have to take them to court to enforce the judgment.
The entire trial process can take months or even years to complete. Therefore, be prepared for a long and complex legal battle.
What Causes a Car Accident Case to Go to Court?
Several different factors can contribute to a car accident case going to court. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of one driver being unhappy with their insurance payout and deciding to take legal action to receive a larger settlement.
In other cases, there may be evidence of negligence or recklessness on the part of one of the drivers, which can lead to criminal charges being filed.
Additionally, if serious injuries or fatalities result from the accident, a civil suit will likely be brought forth to seek damages. If you are involved in a car accident in Atlanta, our car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines can help you navigate the process and get the best possible outcome.
What Happens in a Court Case involving a Car Accident?
If you’ve been in a car accident and your case goes to trial, there are a few things you should expect. Here are the steps of a car accident trial:
The discovery phase is the first step in a car accident case that goes to trial. This is when both sides exchange information and try to gather evidence that will be used in court. The discovery phase can be very long and complicated. It is best to have an experienced car wreck attorney on your side to help you through it.
During discovery, both sides will take depositions, request documents, and conduct investigations. The discovery phase can be very stressful, but it is an essential part of the process. If you have been involved in a car accident, our auto accident lawyers can help you through the discovery phase and ensure you are prepared for trial.
The jury selection process is crucial in any civil or criminal trial. Attorneys on both sides of the case will use this opportunity to ask potential jurors questions about their backgrounds, experiences, and attitudes.
The goal is to select a jury that will be fair and impartial and that will also be sympathetic to the attorney’s argument. The jury selection process can be lengthy and complex, but it is essential to ensure a fair trial.
After the jury is seated and the judge has given the opening remarks, it is time for the lawyers to make their opening statements. This is the opportunity for each lawyer to provide the jury with an overview of their case.
The opening statement should not be too long—just long enough to give the jury a taste of what is to come. The lawyer will usually start by introducing themselves and their client, then give a summary of the facts of the case.
After that, the lawyer will explain what he hopes to prove during the trial. Finally, the lawyer will thank the jury for their time and attention. By the end of the opening statement, the jury should have a good understanding of the case and what they can expect to hear during the trial.
Presentation of Evidence
After the jury has been selected and the opening statements have been made, the plaintiff and the defendant will present their evidence. This is often the most crucial part of the trial, as the evidence will ultimately determine who wins and who loses.
Each side will have the opportunity to:
- Call witnesses: Witnesses are people who saw what happened or have expert knowledge about the case. For example, if you were in a car accident, you might call witnesses who saw the accident happen.
- Present physical evidence: Physical evidence can include things like the damaged car, a photograph of the scene, or a police report.
- Submit expert testimony: Expert witnesses are people with special training or knowledge about a particular subject. For example, an expert witness might be a doctor or an engineer in a car accident case. The expert’s job is to testify about what they know about the case.
After all of the evidence has been presented, it is time for the lawyers to make their final arguments. This is the opportunity for each lawyer to summarize their case and explain why the jury should find in favor of their client.
The closing argument is a critical part of the trial, as it is the last thing the jury will hear before they begin their deliberations. The lawyer will usually start by thanking the jury for their time and attention, then give a summary of the facts of the case.
The lawyer will explain why the jury should find in favor of their client. The lawyer will also refute any arguments that the other side has made. Finally, the lawyer will again thank the jury and ask them to find in favor of their client.
After the closing arguments have been made, it is time for the jury to begin their deliberations. The jury will retire to a room where they will discuss the case.
The jury will decide:
- Who was at fault for the accident.
- What damages should be awarded.
- How much should each party pay?
The jury will reach a verdict by a majority vote. Once the jury has reached a verdict, they will notify the judge and the lawyers.
The verdict is the final step in a car accident case that goes to trial. Once the jury has deliberated and decided, the judge will announce the verdict in court. If the defendant is found guilty, they will be required to pay damages to the plaintiff.
If the defendant is found not guilty, the case will be dismissed, and the plaintiff will not receive compensation.
In either case, consult our experienced Atlanta car accident attorneys before deciding whether or not to go to trial. With their help, you can better understand your chances of success and decide whether or not taking your case to trial is worth the risk.
How Can an Attorney Help With Your Car Accident Claim?
No one expects to be involved in a car accident. But if you are, the consequences can be devastating. You may face medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of repairing or replacing your car.
If someone else’s negligence caused the accident, you may file a claim to recover these expenses.
Atlanta is known for having heavy traffic and many accidents. With so many claims to process, insurance companies are often more interested in protecting their profits than paying out on claims.
Our Atlanta car accident lawyers can help you navigate the claims process and get the compensation you deserve.
Our car accident lawyer will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault. This may involve talking to witnesses, reviewing police reports, and reviewing evidence from the accident scene.
Once liability has been established, we will work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. We will take your case to court if an agreement cannot be reached. Having an experienced injury attorney on your side will increase your chances of getting the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
What Will My Car Accident Lawyer Do?
Your car accident lawyer will work to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve. Here are some of the things our lawyers will do:
- Investigate the accident to determine who was at fault: Your assigned car accident lawyer will work to investigate the accident and determine who was at fault. This may involve talking to witnesses, reviewing police reports, and reviewing evidence from the accident scene.
- Gather evidence to support your claim: To prove your claim, our lawyers will need to gather evidence. This may include medical records, bills, pay stubs, and other documentation.
- Establish liability: Once liability has been established, your lawyer will work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
- Negotiate with the insurance company: Once liability has been established, our lawyers will work to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
- Take your case to court: If an agreement cannot be reached, our attorneys are prepared to take your case to court.
- Get you the compensation you deserve: Our goal is to get you the full amount of compensation you are entitled to. We will work tirelessly to achieve this goal.
You should not bear the financial burden of an accident that was not your fault. Let our experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers help you get the compensation you deserve.
Get a Free Case Review
If you are involved in a car accident, your decisions in the days and weeks following the crash can significantly impact your case. To get the best outcome for your situation, speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
At the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, we understand what you are going through, and we are here to help. Our Cobb and Fulton County car accident attorneys offer free consultations. You can discuss your case with us and find out how we can help. Contact us today to schedule a time to come in and see us. Call 770-874-1754 or contact us online.