What to Expect in a Car Accident Case
“This is a court of law, young man, not a court of justice.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
When deciding whether or not to settle a car accident case, it’s important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of going to trial for a car accident.
A settlement may be faster, but a trial may allow you to recover a greater amount. At the same time, settling out of court may cost less in court fees and attorney fees.
If you or a loved one was in an accident and decides to go to trial, you can expect the following steps in your car accident case:
The complaint. To file a case, you must file a complaint with the court alleging that the other party was negligent in your accident. Your complaint may include a request for specific damages. At this point, the court issues a summons to be served to all parties in the case.
The answer. Once the defendant is served, he or she is allowed to respond. Typically, defendants deny the allegation of negligence.
Discovery. During this phase, attorneys for each side investigate the accident claims. Witnesses will be questioned, and expert witnesses assembled. You will be asked about the extent of your injuries and requested to provide your prior medical history.
Settlement. You may be offered a settlement before the case goes to trial. An auto accident attorney will advise you as to whether or not the settlement is fair.
The trial. If the parties cannot reach a settlement agreement, the case goes to trial where each side presents their case to a judge or jury. If you are successful, the court will award damages they believe to be fair compensation.
If you are deciding whether or not to go to trial or accept a settlement in your car accident case, contact Berenson & Associates, P.C. at 505-505-243-4400. Our auto accident attorneys will help you make sound legal decisions in your case.