It’s no secret that finding yourself in an auto accident can be one of the most stressful and trying times of your life. Not only can an accident have severe legal and financial consequences, many times the accident itself takes a serious emotional toll on everyone involved.
If you’re fortunate enough to come out of an accident with no serious injuries, you should most certainly consider yourself lucky. That said, sometimes a severe accident can require a more substantial process for all parties to be held appropriately accountable.
The good news is that close to 95% of accident insurance claims are settled before a trial is needed. That means that most of the time things will be handled between you and the insurance companies. Though dealing with insurance might not always be pleasant, having your claims settled rather than going to trial is almost always the ideal situation.
Reasons You Might Go to Trial
Of course, if you feel that the settlement is unfair, or you believe the insurance company to be acting in bad faith, the claim will often go to trial.
Two common reasons a claim might go to court are if you and the insurance company can’t reasonably agree who was at fault for the accident or both parties are not satisfied with the proposed compensation.
For example, in one scenario, the other party’s insurance may claim that you were at fault of the accident when in fact you believe otherwise. Only one party can be correct, so a trial will be used to determine who is ultimately at fault. Generally speaking, lawsuits can be an extremely taxing and stressful, so it’s important you have a New Jersey car crash lawyer by your side to help you every step of the way.
Call us at 201-854-2200 to speak to one of our Jersey City car accident attorneys.
If the parties cannot agree as to who is at fault, the trial will work to present evidence to prove your case. If it is determined you aren’t reasonably at fault, you will likely be entitled to more compensation.
That being said, if during the trial it is proven you were negligent or at fault, then that can certainly hurt your case and potentially reduce your overall settlement. It’s helpful to note that all insurance companies involved are always looking to pay out the least amount of compensation legally possible.
The second common reason a car accident case goes to trial is because you and the insurance company may not agree on the proposed compensation. For example, if someone crashed into your car and it is not your fault, and the insurance company wants to compensate you $2,000 for a $110,000 car, you could take your claim to court. Though this is an extreme example, it’s quite common for insurance holders and insurance companies to disagree on proper compensation.
One benefit of having professional legal representation throughout your insurance claim process is that insurance companies are generally much more likely to negotiate a fair amount of compensation before the claim goes to trial. Typically, the trial process is both financially straining and time intensive for everyone involved and is often avoided when possible.
If you’re considering going to trial with your insurance claim, be sure to call an auto accident attorney to help review your case! At Greenberg & Walden Inc. we are happy to work with you on your case and ensure you are well prepared for your insurance claim trial. We know how frustrating and scary the process can be and are committed to giving you the best chance to win your case.
Give us a call now at 201-854-2200, and someone from our team will see how our services can assist you with your recent car accident.
What a Car Accident Trial Looks Like
Going to trial can be an incredibly overwhelming process and having legal experts in your corner can significantly increase your chances of success. Additionally, sometimes a trial can be avoided when a legal team learns more about your specific situation.
Let’s take a look at how a typical car accident trial will go.
The first step involves the selection of the jury. In most states, but not all, the trial is decided by a jury and not a judge. As with any jury selection, the panel will be randomly selected to reduce any potential biases, and each jury member will be asked a variety of questions to qualify whether they are fit to be a juror of the case.
If it was alleged you were drinking and driving, for example, a juror whose family member passed away in a drunk driving accident would likely be removed from the jury. To the best of the legal system’s ability, the jury selection will allow for a fair trial.
Trial Date Is Set
After the jury has been selected, your trial date will be set, and you can work with us to begin forming your case as to why you believe you are in the right. If we’re working to receive additional compensation, for example, we’ll start collecting all the data and witness testimony to make our case. If you believe you are entitled to more compensation than your insurance is wanting to pay out, we’ll work to collect information that will help present your case as strongly as possible.
During the opening statements of a trial, each side will present their argument as to why they believe they are in the right. The insurance company might claim that you don’t deserve compensation because the accident is partly your fault. Our side might argue that those allegations are baseless, and we have the proof to back our claim up.
You (The Plaintiff) Present Your Case
Typically, after the opening statements, you will then present your case to the jury as to why you believe you are right concerning your claim. You will share your proof as to why you believe that’s the case. As your attorney, we’ll work with you to ensure your claim is both truthful and strong, giving you the best chance to win your case. Because we are the party who files the claim, we will often present first.
While presenting your case, we will rely on witness testimony, bystanders, doctors, psychologists, medical professionals, and more. The goal of our argument is to show without a reasonable doubt you should win your claim.
They (The Defendant) Present Their Case
After you present your case, the defendant will be allowed to share their version of the events. Like you, they and their lawyer will call witnesses to the stand such as bystanders, doctors, and other relevant experts to help strengthen their case.
After both parties have presented their case, each side will be given a chance to deliver what is called closing arguments. This part of the process involves both sides giving a concise recap of the case and encourage the jury to consider the evidence in a specific way. If you’ve ever watched a court case on television, then you’ve certainly see closing arguments occur.
After the closing arguments, the jury will go to another room and decide their verdict. Depending on the severity of the case and the complexity of the evidence, the jury deliberation can last only a few hours to several days.
After deliberation, the jury will share their verdict with the judge who will then communicate their conclusion to you and your lawyer. If you win your case, you will then be entitled to compensation for your injuries or initial claim.
Collecting Your Compensation
If you lose your case, you will not receive any compensation, and the case will be considered closed. If, however, you do win your case, you would work to begin collecting your payment from the appropriate party.
In New Jersey, court laws and other legal processes can prevent you from receiving your compensation promptly. Though you will ultimately receive your full amount of compensation, it might take some time and is not as simple as a deposit into your bank.
The losing party has a short period after the initial verdict to file a motion for a new trial and up to several months to challenge the verdict.
If the losing party does not file an appeal, you will typically be compensated your full entitled amounts within 15-40 business days. In most cases, you will receive your compensation directly from the insurance company.
If you have recently had an accident, our lawyers at Greenberg & Walden Inc. are here to help! We understand how stressful and tiring an accident can be, and we’ve worked with thousands of clients to help them get back to their normal life as quickly as possible.