The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles What to Expect If Your Car Accident Case Goes to Trial

What to Expect If Your Car Accident Case Goes to Trial

By Christopher Hoffmann  Sep. 20, 2018 10:47a

Though going to trial can be frustrating and time-consuming, it is sometimes necessary.

When you and your St. Louis car accident lawyer start to pursue compensation, the goal is generally to get a quick settlement that gets you the full amount you are entitled to. While this is often achieved, sometimes the opposing party does not want to pay anywhere near your target amount. When this happens, you and your lawyer may decide to go to trial. The following is what to expect if you make that choice.

Higher Stakes

If you and your lawyer decide you want to target a quick settlement, you may choose to accept less compensation than your original target. When you take your case to trial, you usually shed this mindset and pursue as much payment as possible. Additionally, attorney fees start to become a factor for one or both parties. Often, the loser of the case is ordered to pay the other side’s legal costs, raising the stakes further. While settling for a lower sum is still possible after going to court, the potential payment is almost always higher.

Reliance on Your Lawyer

No matter what the conditions surrounding your car accident are, it is best to talk to a lawyer. Still, some situations call for legal counsel more than others. When a case ends up going to trial, an attorney is essential. If you have already enlisted one, your reliance on them will grow due to the increased legal complication of going to court. If you have not, it is time to hire a lawyer immediately.

Making a Sworn Statement

Throughout your car accident case, you will make a few sworn statements about your crash. The first is for the police directly after the accident, the next is a deposition made outside of court, and the last is a statement in court. By the time you get to trial, you may be tired of telling your story over and over again. Still, you will have to give your account of the events to the judge and jury. That way, it can be officially recorded by the court, and you can tell the jury your story directly. Before making this statement, your lawyer will coach you on best practices.

More Scrutiny

With higher stakes comes more scrutiny. In the early stages of a car accident case, the opposing insurance company will do their due diligence, but they often do not focus on you too heavily. The reason for this is that the proposed payment is usually low, and insurance company employees often work over one hundred cases at the same time. Once you decide to go to court, your situation gets much more attention. The reason for this is two-fold. First, the stakes are higher, so the insurance company takes more interest in it. Second, a team of lawyers takes on the case, rather than solely insurance employees.

Though going to trial can be frustrating and time-consuming, it is sometimes necessary. If you ever end up in a complicated car accident case that has the potential to go to trial, it is a good idea to speak with a St. Louis car accident lawyer right away. This will ensure that you handle the lawsuit correctly and receive what you are legally entitled to.

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