What Happens When A Personal Injury Case Goes To Trial?
If your personal injury case is going to trial, you might not be sure what to expect. After all, most people only know about the trial process due to the various films and TV shows they might have seen. So what actually happens during a trial? How do you strive for the best results? Is the fact that your case is going to trial a bad thing? Here’s what you should know:
Personal Injury Trials Are Very Rare
The first thing you should know is that personal injury trials are quite rare, with less than 10% of all civil cases reaching this stage. The vast majority are settled out of court instead, with plaintiffs receiving financial settlements in exchange for dropping the case. This is often the best result for everyone involved – providing the settlement reflects the true extent of the plaintiff’s damages. The victim gets to cover their damages, while the defendant gets to save face and avoid the unpredictable nature of a jury award. Both parties can avoid the stressful, drawn-out, and expensive nature of a trial. Unfortunately, sometimes the insurance company that insured the at-fault party is unwilling to make a reasonable settlement amount – in which case it is left to a jury to hold their insured responsible (in most, but not all, cases there is insurance which pays for the judgement).
Even if a trial seems imminent, the defendant’s insurance company could still offer you a settlement right at the last possible moment. Some even wait for you at the courthouse stairs as you head into your trial, offering a settlement.
Trials Are Unpredictable
Trials are inherently unpredictable – especially if you face a jury trial. In a jury trial, your compensation amount will be decided by a group of your peers. These are average citizens picked in a somewhat random manner. There is no way of telling how much they’ll award you, and they might think that you deserve less than what you’re aiming for. On the other hand, they might be sympathetic to your situation and offer you more than you were seeking. Unfortunately, jurors are not usually allowed to be told that there is an insurance company that, in the vast majority of cases, is paying for the at-fault party’s attorney and will also pay for the judgement. The jury also doesn’t get to know that it was this insurance company’s low offer that resulted in the need for the trial.
The General Trial Process
The trial itself is only one part of the process. The pre-trial stage is critical, and it involves gathering as many important documents as possible during “discovery.” Both sides are legally required to share all information with each other. If you request certain documents from the defendant’s lawyers, they must provide it. During the trial, each side has a chance to present their evidence, question witnesses, and make arguments. Based on these arguments, a final decision is made.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer in New Hampshire?
If you’ve been searching for a Manchester personal injury lawyer, look no further than the Law Office of Manning Zimmerman & Oliveira PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous injured plaintiffs. We know that approaching a trial can be a daunting prospect – but the truth is that this situation is exceedingly rare. With our help, you can strive for the best possible outcome and pursue the compensation you need and deserve. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.