If you or a loved one were injured in a car wreck, you might have a valid claim to recover compensation. However, if your settlement offer is not sufficient, you may wish to take your case to court. An accomplished lawyer with experience in Gwinnett County car accident trials could stand by your side and guide you through the legal process. Call today and set up a consultation with a skilled car wreck attorney.
Discovery Period for Car Wreck Cases
After filing a lawsuit, the next phase of the case is the discovery period which consists of:
- Interrogatories (written questions exchanged by the parties which require written, sworn answers)
- Document production requests (documents, videos, photographs, and any other physical evidence)
- Depositions (oral testimony taken under oath of the parties and certain witnesses)
- Statements (oral testimony taken under oath of any medical or other experts).
When the discovery process is completed, the parties work together to complete a pre-trial order form for the judge which lists the issues of the case as seen by each party, the relevant law, the medical bills, what plaintiffs are seeking for recovery, what the defendants are seeking, and other relevant materials that the judge wants to know about the case. The judge will either sign off on it or have a hearing and then sign off. If the case continues, it will proceed to trial.
Litigation Process in Gwinnett County
If the insurance company refuses to pay the full value on a claim, an individual may choose to file suit against the negligent party. If there are multiple defendants, the litigation process moves along the same as if it were only one defendant at a trial.
The injured victim’s attorney gives the opening statement first because they have to put the case in front of the jury. The defense attorney will present their opening statement following that of the plaintiff.
Presenting Their Case
The plaintiff in a lawsuit will present their case before the court first. The insurance defense attorney has the ability, while the plaintiff’s attorneys present their case, to cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses. When the plaintiff rests their case, the defense attorney will proceed with their defense of the case.
The plaintiff’s attorney will present their closing statement first, followed by the defense attorney. The plaintiff attorney then gets to make additional final closing remarks after the defense closing statement.
During the closing statements, the plaintiff attorney will ask the jury for a certain amount of money for the plaintiff’s injuries and damages. The jury goes to deliberate and then brings back a verdict for the defendant or the plaintiff. If the verdict is in favor of the plaintiff, it will also contain the amount of money they believe would be fair and appropriate for the defendant or defendants, to pay the plaintiff for their damages, or they may divide liability, therefore dividing the amount between the defendants as it pertains to their amount of liability.
Common Issues at Trial
The difficulties for a plaintiff in any personal injury case would include adverse witnesses that hurt their case, unfavorable medical providers, and defense experts trying to discredit the plaintiff’s claims. Sometimes the defense tries to claim the plaintiff either was injured before the wreck or that the crash did not hurt the plaintiff. In car accident cases, the defense is known to hire biomechanical experts who will try to say that the plaintiff was not injured due to the impact.
Another difficulty is the mindset of jurors. It is crucial to address any adverse mindsets that will prejudice a jury. Therefore, it is wise for injured individuals to obtain a lawyer who has experience with Gwinnett County car accident trials.
How Long Does Trial Take?
The length of a lawsuit depends on several factors. Sometimes, upon filing suit, the insurance companies will realize that it does not make sense to fight the claims. Other times, the insurance company may go through the litigation process, but pay the money before the trial begins. If the insurance company tries to fight the case, then it could take anywhere from six months to two years.
In the Peachtree Corners area, the trial date is dependent upon how many cases the court has and how aggressive the plaintiff attorney is. The quicker the attorney files the lawsuit, the quicker they will receive a trial date.
Contact a Gwinnett County Lawyer About Car Accident Trials
While the process of a trial is fairly straightforward, it can be incredibly time-consuming. Fortunately, you do not have to face it alone. A qualified attorney can walk you through the process of Gwinnett County car accident trials. Call today and schedule a consultation.