Although most civil claims end in a pre-trial settlement, a handful of them fail to get resolved and turn into a lawsuit. As a result, a third party is responsible for determining the damages award. Allowing a jury to decide the ultimate outcome of a case can be risky for both the plaintiff and the defendant, so it is often in their best interest to settle early.

If, however, you wish to proceed with a trial after your car accident in Cicero, you need legal representation to make the case. A skilled car accident attorney could assist you compiling evidence and take the lead when presenting in a courtroom.

How Does a Car Accident Trial Work?

If the two sides of a car accident claim cannot come to a settlement agreement, the case will proceed to a trial. The attorneys for the two parties begin the trial by making opening statements that preview their arguments. From this point, the plaintiff will call witnesses and introduce evidence. A judge will determine what evidence is to be considered, and a lawyer must assemble the case in a manner similar to telling a compelling story or completing a puzzle. The defendant then gets the same opportunity, and at the end, the case proceeds to closing arguments. The jury will then deliberate and come up with a verdict.

Most local car accident cases will settle before a trial can begin, but the two sides can also choose to settle even after a suit has been filed.

Are Outcomes Determined by a Judge or a Jury?

Most car accident cases are determined by a jury, composed of 12 randomly selected individuals from the surrounding areas, who make the final decision in a car accident case. Both sides have the right to have their case decided by a jury. In some situations, it may be a strategic decision to have a case decided by a judge in a bench trial. A lawyer is in the best position to advise a plaintiff on whether to proceed with a jury trial or a bench trial.

Multiple Defendants in a Lawsuit

In most cases, litigation will proceed against all defendants simultaneously. As long as the defendants are all from the same accident, the case will be consolidated. The only time an accident will result in multiple court cases with multiple defendants is if someone does not sue the correct parties initially.

When there are multiple defendants, the plaintiff always makes their case first, and then each defendant has an opportunity to present their case in turn. The order of who presents their case can change depending on the ruling of the judge. Ultimately, a jury will decide who is responsible and what percentage of the accident each defendant is liable for.

When there are multiple defendants in a car accident case, it is important that an experienced lawyer handles the matter strategically, as there are many factors to consider. Determining who was predominantly at fault, and the division of available insurance, can greatly impact the end result of a case. When there are multiple defendants in a court trial, arguments must be tailored towards the specific defendants but the broad narrative should tell one story.

The Length of a Trial

A personal injury lawyer does not get paid until the case is settled or the jury returns with a damages award. For this reason, most lawyers will try to move a case along as quickly as possible. The sooner the plaintiff obtains a settlement recovery, the sooner the lawyer will be paid. However, there are several factors which serve to delay the settlement of car crash cases. The courts are busy and there are constraints which will delay the ultimate outcome of the case. Many of these are beyond the control of either of the lawyers. Typically, a car accident trial in Cicero will take 18 to 24 months to resolve through the court process.

Failure to properly address medical injuries can delay a case. It is essential that someone who is injured in an auto accident continues to treat with their doctor until their symptoms have resolved. There are also processes to expedite cases when they are in the court system, which a lawyer could discuss.

Learn About Car Accident Trials from a Cicero Attorney

A courtroom trial can be an intimidating situation for most people, especially those who are recovering from injuries and are looking for financial help. That is where a lawyer comes in. In addition to providing counsel as to whether to settle a case or turn it into a lawsuit, a lawyer could be your legal advocate and argue before a judge or jury that you deserve to recover damages. If you are looking for help with a car accident trial in Cicero, call now to discuss your situation with a legal representative.