What Happens at a Personal Injury Trial? An OverviewWe'll be going over the many details of what happens when you go to trial for a personal injury case. However, before we get into all the details, this overview helps with what you can do, what your attorney can do, and what you need.
Personal injury law can be very complex, and you should not base any decisions just on a blog post or article. You need an experienced attorney who can fight your case. That means querying as many as possible and finding the right fit. Let's go over that more.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Hire one who has experience, time to personally handle your case, and has fair fees for your budget. Hire an attorney who's won cases, who knows the laws, and perhaps even has experience in your type of case. If you were severely hurt in a car accident by a company truck, you can hire an attorney who has experience in accident law.
Before court even occurs, you typically might reach a settlement. You must also be sure you comply with all court requests. Perhaps most importantly, if it will go to trial, the jury will be picked. The jury is questioned by the judge, the defendant, and you. The lawyers on both sides will try to pick a jury they can win with, but more importantly who have no clear opinion on certain types of cases. If someone had been in a car accident before where a lawsuit was filed, using our previous example, the defendants may find that out.
However, the great majority of cases are settled long before a trial. Why? Insurance companies typically want to save money on lawyers, who can be quite expensive. So you'll almost always get some kind of offer, especially if the case is strong. Whether you accept or not depends on the nature of the case.
The trial is far from a simple process, and we'll be going over it more. Once the jury is picked, and if you denied any settlement offers if there were any, you'll go to trial. The judge or jury will examine evidence, noting if the defendant should be help responsible for injuries against the plaintiff (you). The defendant will also get the chance to prove the plaintiff is inaccurate. Those are the goals of any personal injury trial: plaintiff trying to prove wrongdoing, defendant trying to prove innocence.
After both cases are made, the jury will go into deliberations. Most states, but not all, require a unanimous decision from the jurors. They will be the deciding factor on if you have a case or not and if so what type of compensation you deserve.
All this may sound complicated and troubling, but it should be said again: most personal injury claims are settled before court. You rarely need worry about giving testimony in a trial. You should be prepared, but if you get an offer you and your attorney feel is good, you should consider it. Going to trial, you may lose that chance, or you may get even more compensation for damages. Just remember how important an experienced attorney can be in winning.