What Happens During a Trial in Cook County Car Accident Cases?

You may be hesitant to accept an insurance company’s payout for your injuries after a car accident and think you have a better chance at a larger payout by taking your case to trial. Before insisting on a trial, get a better idea of the process of what happens during a trial in Cook County car accident cases, including the length of the process, the types of trials available to you, and how an experienced car accident lawyer can help with your case.

The Length of a Case

The court process tends to move slowly, often taking 18 months or more for a case to be set for trial after the filing of the lawsuit because there are many things that need to be done before the case is ready for trial. Even if a case proceeds quickly, there are still inherent difficulties in getting a prompt trial date. The complexity of the case also affects the amount of time it takes between filing a lawsuit and obtaining a trial date.

Many factors go into the length of a trial, including the speed at which the lawyers involved in trying the case work, the style of the judge, and the complexity and amount of evidence.

Courtroom with poinsettias

Important Elements of a Car Accident Case

The idea of a jury trial is always to persuade the judge or jury to decide for one party or the other, but there are many other things which an experienced car accident attorney must take into consideration. For example, a trial lawyer must adequately preserve any mistakes made by the judge so an appeals court can properly review the decision, often referred to as preserving the record.

All lawyers want to make sure there is an adequate record of everything which transpires in the trial, and this is crucial if the case ends up being appealed. If a trial is appealed, the Court of Appeals only considers the transcript of all the proceedings of the trial and nothing else.

Most cases will settle out of court. Even if the case goes to litigation and makes its way through court, most of those cases will settle before they actually proceed to a jury trial.

Two Types of Trials

One of the first decisions a trial lawyer must make is whether to proceed with the case in front of a judge or a jury. This is a very strategic decision that lawyers often discuss at length. There are benefits to having a jury trial, and there are benefits to having a bench trial by a judge. Every case is different, and injured plaintiffs in car accident cases in Cook County should defer to the expertise of the trial lawyer.

Jury Trial

In a jury trial, evidence is presented to a panel of everyday people (a jury of peers), who then interpret each lawyer’s argument and return with a verdict based on who they believe is most at fault for the plaintiff’s injuries. One advantage of a jury trial is those who sit on the jury may be more sympathetic than a judge on the bench who has heard these cases multiple times before.

Bench Trial

In a particularly complex case, a plaintiff may want to considered proceeding with the trial in front of a judge rather than a jury. Unlike a jury, a judge has knowledge of the details of personal injury law and is more likely to see the nuances of a complicated case.

Call an Attorney to Learn What Happens During a Cook County Car Accident Case Trial

There are many other factors which go into the decision about waiving or proceeding with a jury trial. Regardless of the type of trial, it is always best to work with a personal injury attorney from McCready Law who knows what happens during a trial in Cook County car accident.

Always remember that the insurance company has hired a lawyer to try to minimize the amount they have to pay the plaintiff, and having a lawyer on your side puts you on equal ground. Call our office and schedule a consultation when you are considering going to trial after you are injured in a car accident.