Victims of car accidents often don’t know what to do or what to expect. You may wonder if you’ll have to sue the liable driver, or hire an attorney to help you get your damages.
You should know that car accident cases don’t always end in court, but there are situations where they do and it’s the only option. If your case gets to court, it’s best to know what to expect.
Hiring a New Mexico attorney would be a good idea, so you can be prepared before your appearance.
What Leads to a Car Accident Case Going to Court?
In most cases, car accidents don’t go to court (they don’t have to). Hiring an attorney means that they will do the investigation and will collect the evidence to show your damages. If the other driver’s insurers and your attorney can reach a fear settlement, the case will be settled and there won’t be a need for a trial. However, there are cases where this is impossible, so the case will have to go to court.
Here are situations where your case may need to go to court.
- The insurance company offers unfair settlement
- Despite your lawyer’s negotiation with the insurance company, they won’t move on offering a higher settlement for your damages
- Both parties can’t agree on who was at fault
Insurance companies work for profit and their main intention is to earn not to spend. So, you can expect them to offer a lower settlement or deny the claim. If they aren’t willing to offer you a suitable claim, and you aren’t willing to accept the low offer, your attorney may advise you to take the case to trial.
What Happens if The Case Goes to Court?
Both sides have a chance to show their evidence. At this point, having a car accident lawyer would be crucial. You alone may not even know what to say, or how to prove your point. Your lawyer will prepare your claim for trial by collecting the evidence and presenting your case carefully.
Showing evidence to the jury and proving that the other driver was at fault and caused your injuries and damages is crucial for your case. If the jury isn’t sure about their decision, this could go in your favor to win the case.
Your attorney may show different types of evidence including:
- Medical records
- Witness interviews
- Expert interviews (from the doctor who treated you, for example)
- Accident reports
- Other evidence showing your injuries
The defendant and their attorney can cross-examine you or your witnesses. They can also provide objections to evidence, and show their side. Afterwards, the jury will make their decision.
After the evidence, the lawyers of both sides will give closing arguments. They will talk to the jury about the evidence that was presented. This is a chance for the lawyer to persuade the jury to make their conclusions from the evidence.
Once the attorneys have their closing arguments, the jury will continue to a room apart from the courtroom, where it will deliberate on the evidence and finally will reach a verdict. These jury deliberations are confident in all states and none of the parties or the judge can observe them. Most juries will reach a verdict in a car accident case within several hours (although there is no set time limit). It’s not uncommon for the jury deliberation to last for days.
After the jury reaches a verdict, it notifies the judge that the deliberations have ended. The judge then brings the jury back into the courtroom where the verdict is read to the parties. Finally, the verdict is made a part of the official record of the court.
These trials typically last just a few days from the time jury selection begins until the verdict. But, there aren’t set time rules and the length of the jury trial varies and depends on the complexity of the case. It also depends on the local courts’ procedures.
What Happens if I Don’t Go to Court?
Having an attorney in such a case is more than important. You might be injured and incapable of gathering your evidence, let alone doing an investigation. Your attorney will already know what to do and whom to consult if they need expert interviews for example.
Our FBD Law team will review your case and advise you about the legal procedure; call our firm today.