When you have been involved in a car accident, you can typically expect insurance claims to be resolved well before an actual lawsuit. Even if a lawsuit is filed, settlements are typically reached prior to the trial. However, this is not true for all car accident cases. In certain situations, a lawsuit might lead to a full trial, which will have different rules and regulations depending on the state in which you live.
With years of experience handling personal injury cases throughout the New Jersey area, the car accident attorneys at Peter Davis & Associates have represented many car accident cases in court and we would like to teach you more about what to expect during a trial.
Jury Selection in Car Accident Cases
As opposed to a ruling judge, most states require the selection of jury members during the initial stages of a car accident trial. Both lawyers and the judge interview the jury members in order to uncover any prejudices that will possibly prevent that individual member from handing out an impartial ruling. After the jury has been carefully selected, both parties will prepare for opening statements.
Opening Statements & Initial Arguments
The plaintiff’s attorney will typically give the first opening statement, to which the defendant’s attorney will respond. These opening statements are meant to lay out how exactly each party plans on presenting their case to the jury. In most situations this follows a rather simple format: the plaintiff will attempt to prove that the defendant did or did not take a certain action. The defendant will then attempt to refute these claims.
Closing Arguments & Deliberation
At the end of the trial, much like with the opening statements, both parties will present closing arguments to the jury. Unlike opening statements, closing arguments do not present the case as much as analyze the evidence that was actually set forth. The closing arguments are meant to persuade the jury to make a decision, one way or the other.
The jury will then go to a private room to deliberate the case and the available evidence. These deliberations are strictly confidential and there is no set time limit. Eventually, the jury will decide on a verdict and pass word to the judge, who calls the jury back into the courtroom and has them read the verdict to both parties. The verdict is finally made a part of the official court record.
Collecting Damages after a Trial
For a variety of reasons, it is often best to resolve a personal injury claim before it can go to trial, but sometimes a court date is necessary to get what is properly owed. Just because you were awarded a certain amount does not mean it will be easier receiving said amount from the other party.
This step of the process can often be more taxing than the trial itself and it will help tremendously having only the best personal injury lawyer on your side. To learn more about car accident personal injury cases, contact a representative at Peter Davis Law today.