Will Your Car Accident Case Go To Trial?


The majority of car accident cases do not go to court. You may receive a settlement from the insurance provider of the other motorist, or you may be paid directly by the motorist who caused the accident. However, there are some cases where a car accident case goes to trial.

Disputes Over Fault

A common reason why car accident cases go to trial is that there is a dispute over who is responsible for the accident. The insurance provider of the other motorist may refuse to compensate you for damages. 

Disputes Over Damages

There may also be a dispute over the damages. Even if the defendant is considered fully at fault for the accident, he or she may argue that some of the damages you're claiming are not a result of the accident. 

Jury Vs. Bench Trials

If your case might be going to trial, you will need to contact a car accident attorney who can represent you in court. If you begin the process of preparing a claim for trial, this may also increase the odds that the other party will settle. You'll need medical records to prove any injuries you have suffered, traffic collision reports that prove that you suffered damages, any bills from mechanical repairs that you may seek compensation from, and any witness statements that support your version of the events.

If your case does go to trial, you may have a jury trial or a bench trial. With a jury trial, your case will be decided by your peers. Both the plaintiff and defendant present evidence in an effort to persuade the jury.

Sometimes, a jury trial will simply not feel like the right way to resolve your case. Another alternative is a bench trial. With this type of case, the judge is the finder of fact. To have a bench trial, both the plaintiff and the defendant must agree to waive a jury trial. This is possible in some states, depending on the state constitution. While you have a right to a jury trial in the Constitution, this only applies to federal courts. 

Whether or not you should waive a jury trial should be discussed with your attorney. Jury trials are somewhat more common than bench trials. The defendant is more likely to win in a jury trial than in a bench trial. However, the amount of damages awarded is typically the same regardless of whether there is a jury or bench trial. 

Reach out to a firm like the Labine Law Firm for more information.


30 March 2020

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