From Trial to Verdict: What Happens When Your Accident Goes to Court

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blog from trial to verdict what happens when your accident goes to court

Although it’s rare that legal action resulting from a car accident will go to trial, it can happen. However, Kryder Law’s personal injury attorneys will work hard to settle a case with your insurance company outside of court to save you time and money. If we can’t reach a fair settlement, and your suit goes to trial, here’s what you can expect:

  1. Jury Selection: Every trial begins with selecting a fair and unbiased jury. Attorneys from both the plaintiff and the defense have the opportunity to screen potential jury members to make sure none hold any preconceived notions about the case.
  2. Opening Arguments: The plaintiff–or, in other words, the one bringing the suit–speaks first during opening arguments. This gives the plaintiff a chance to outline the accusations and evidence against the defense. The defense then provides an outline of its own case.
  3. Plaintiff Presents Case: Next, the plaintiff will present its case, calling up witnesses to testify and providing evidence for the jury to review.
  4. Defense Presents Case: After the plaintiff presents its case, the defense will provide its side. The defense will also call up witnesses to testify and provide evidence supporting its case.
  5. Closing Arguments: Both the plaintiff and defense will present closing arguments to the jury. These closing arguments will sum up the key points each side made during their arguments.
  6. Deliberations: The judge will instruct the jury to deliberate. These deliberations are not recorded and kept secure. Jury deliberations can last anywhere from a few minutes to multiple days, depending on the complexity of a case.
  7. Verdict: Once the jury has reached a decision, they will give their verdict to the court. If the jury does not find in favor of the defense, the defense can appeal the decision.

If Kryder Law’s auto accident lawyers can’t reach a settlement with your insurance company, we will work hard to present your case expertly in court. Contact us today if you or a loved one has recently been injured in an accident and we’ll review your situation and let you know if legal action is right for you.

How Many Lawsuits Go to Trial?

The vast majority of lawsuits do not see the inside of a courtroom. It is estimated that 95% of successful lawsuits end in pre-trial settlements. This means that if your case goes to trial, it is one of the few that couldn’t reach settlement terms before the trial date. This isn’t an indicator of the trial’s future outcome.

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How Long Do Most Trials Last?

How long a courtroom trial will last depends on the case. Some trials last only three or four days, while others can go on for several months. However, the average length of a jury trial is probably somewhere between four and five days. Complex cases and those with many witnesses to call to the stand will likely take more time than simpler cases. It can be hard to guarantee that a jury trial will last only a set amount of time. It is best that plaintiffs be prepared for the case to take as long as it needs.

Cost Difference Between Settlements and Trials

There is a substantial difference in the cost of settling and a trial. In addition to court fees, trials require a substantial amount of legal research, resources, and other costs that are not necessary during simple settlements. This is part of the reason why it is more common to see cases settled before court. Many lawyers are incentivized to help their clients get the largest amount of compensation possible, as they are paid a percentage of what they are able to recover. The higher the settlement, the more the lawyer will earn. If the amount offered during the settlement process is less than ideal, your lawyer will likely recommend continuing to pursue the courts if he believes that he can get a larger amount of compensation.

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Do I Have to Pay for Court Costs if We Lose?

Whether you will have to pay for court costs after losing your case depends on the arrangement you worked out with your attorney. Many personal injury lawyers only collect a portion of the compensation they were able to secure for you. If this is the case, you will not have to pay for any court costs in the event you lose your case. This can vary based on which attorney you work with and any specific arrangements. It is best to discuss any financial agreements in advance and to understand the consequences.

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Will I Need to Testify?

Your lawyer will discuss the pros and cons of having you testify in the courtroom. In many cases, plaintiff testimony is a necessary part of the storytelling process. Your story, as told in the courtroom, can detail what really happened and how it had an impact on your life. There are cases when it could be advantageous for the plaintiff not to testify, especially when the plaintiff is unable to stand the trial. Your lawyer will discuss the best course of action for your specific case.

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