Courts often settle vehicular accident insurance claims without the need for a trial. However, most automobile accident cases that get filed are often settled out of court before going to trial.
Even yet, courts can’t resolve every automobile accident lawsuit. Sometimes, the participants can’t reach an agreement on who was at fault for the accident. Even if the sides can agree that the accident caused injury to the plaintiff, they may not compromise on how much reimbursement should be awarded as a result of that injury.
If a settlement offer does not end your automobile accident lawsuit, you might question what would transpire if it goes to court. Most states have certain fundamental principles and processes for proceedings that apply across all of them, and you’ll see them in the following sections.
Most states allow a jury to decide the primary issues that occur in car accidents. Most of the time, the jury is composed of twelve people, but they can reduce the number. Voir dire, also known as the first stage of the trial, is where the jury members are selected. This phase is where sides ask potential jurors a series of questions so vehicular accident lawyers can pinpoint the chosen ones. They ask questions to determine any biases and prejudices that the person may have, which keeps them from equality and fairness.
After the selection of a jury, the parties then make the opening statements. The plaintiff’s lawyer is allowed to go first since the plaintiff has the baggage of proving all the allegations related to the case. Opening statements are the chance for each party’s lawyer to create an atmosphere for the jury and discuss their side of the case. Most of the time, these last about 15 – 20 minutes.
The Plaintiff’s Presentation of Evidence
The plaintiff’s lawyer then presents the plaintiff’s case. As mentioned above, the plaintiff will have a chance to go first because they have the “burden of proof.” The lawyer then presents and suggests pieces of evidence by calling witnesses to the stand. For example, the attorney will most likely call on the plaintiff to explain how a car accident happened. They are to testify and discuss what they observed before, during, and after the crash. The lawyer may also call in bystanders that witnessed the event. This pattern is followed throughout the case, with different shreds of evidence and witnesses.
The Defendant’s Presentation of Evidence
After the plaintiff’s lawyer has presented the necessary evidence to prove his client’s side to the jury, the plaintiff will “rest” the case. This action signifies that the defendant is now allowed to present their evidence and prove their side. How the defendant shows their proof is similar to that of the plaintiff. The attorney calls on witnesses to testify against the issues and pieces of evidence that the plaintiff filed earlier.
Pieces of Evidence You can Use in a Court of Law
Your attorney might produce various evidence types during the trial for your vehicular accident, including:
- Accident reports
- Other proof of your injuries
- Interviews from your doctor
- Medical records
- Witness testimonies
As a result, the accused (the driver at fault) and their attorney have the opportunity to question you and your testimonies, object to findings, and speak their side against you in court. The jury will make the final verdict once both parties have testified.
A lawyer representing each side makes a concluding argument after each side has presented all the evidence. Opening statements in a lawsuit deal with what each lawyer hopes data will prove, but closing arguments focus on what information was provided and delivered to the jury. Finally, in closing arguments, lawyers try to convince the jury to decide in their client’s favor by arguing that the data support their client’s position.
Voting by the Jury
A jury or judge may hear and decide the matter depending on where you live. A jury tries accidents involving automobiles and other personal injury lawsuits in Georgia. Your attorney will make an effort to gauge the jury’s level of sympathy for your claim. If you have a favorable jury, you may be able to receive a better settlement.
The court classifies claims for personal injury as civil proceedings, which means they are more concerned with assisting accident victims in recovering from their damages than identifying and prosecuting the responsible party. Criminal matters are handled in one courtroom, while civil ones are handled in another.
The Jury Announces a Verdict
The court finishes the proceedings when the jury delivers a decision and informs the judge of their decision. Someone reads the verdict to the parties and is then filed into the court’s official documents by the judge when the jury returns to the court.
An automobile accident trial’s jury selection process generally lasts only a couple of days before rendering a verdict. There isn’t a strict rule, though. The time of a hearing is highly dependent on the case’s intricacy and the state’s public court processes.