Car accidents are traumatic experiences for all parties involved. They can cause major inconvenience and distress as well as physical injury and property damage. According to the association for safe international travel (ASIRT), car accidents cost the United States at least $65 billion each year. The staggering statistics prove that car accidents are a major issue in this country.
Due to the expense and frequency of car accidents, many collisions are settled out of court. The plaintiff and the insurance company reach an agreement before the claim gets proposed into the legal system. The insurance company pays a settlement and the plaintiff gets what they deserve. However, things don’t always go so smoothly. There are instances where both sides can’t reach an agreement or the facts of the case are too murky for resolution. These occurrences lead to a formal trial. The legal process can be long, strenuous, and confusing. In this article, we outline what happens when your car accident goes to trial.
Burden of Proof
A car accident operates like any other court case. You have a judge, jury, plaintiff, and defendant. The plaintiff is the party that lodges a formal complaint. It is their responsibility to provide proof that the accident occurred and the other party is responsible. It is the jury’s duty to decide if the plaintiff is telling the truth. The judge is there to make sure due process of the law is carried out and justice is served.
What Happens During Trial?
The jury is selected through a random process and they are screened for any bigotry. The attorneys give opening statements and the plaintiff’s attorney goes first. The plaintiff also presents their evidence first. The plaintiff always goes first because they are the initiators of the case. They can show medical records, get medical experts to testify, and present eyewitness accounts. Now the defendant has to refute the plaintiff’s claims. The defendant will present their own evidence. Medical experts and eyewitnesses will be used to bolster their claims. After both sides present their evidence, they make a final plea to the jury. This plea is called a closing argument.
Who Decides the Outcome of My Case?
The jury is the driving force behind the trial. It is their decision that determines if you win or lose your case. After the closing arguments, the jury retires to their chamber to make a final decision. This is called the jury deliberation. They don’t have a time limit to reach a verdict. Therefore, the deliberation can take hours or days.
Choosing a Lawyer
In a court of law, it is very important to have a trained legal professional by your side. The right car accident lawyer can help you navigate the lengthy legal process. Lewis & Keller have been helping North Carolina residents for decades. Their legal expertise has awarded clients millions of dollars in settlement money. If you or a loved one has experienced a car accident, do not hesitate to contact Lewis & Keller.