going to trial for car accident

Dealing with a car accident is never easy, but having to go to trial can be a daunting experience. However, it’s essential to remember that you’re not alone. With the right legal assistance, you can navigate the trial process and emerge with a fair outcome. In this article, we’ll explore what you should expect when going to trial for a car accident, along with tips for making the experience as stress-free as possible. So, take a deep breath and let’s dive into what you need to know.

The Importance of Going to Trial for Car Accident

Car accidents can be life-changing events that can result in serious injuries or even death. When a car accident occurs, it is important to determine who was responsible and what damages were caused. However, even if the responsible party admits fault, it may be necessary to go to trial to ensure that the injured party receives fair compensation. Here are some reasons why going to trial for a car accident can be important.

1. Establishing Liability

Going to trial for a car accident can establish liability if there is a dispute about who was at fault. Your lawyer can present evidence to show that the other party was negligent and caused the accident. This evidence can include witness statements, accident reports, and expert testimony. By establishing liability, you can receive compensation for your injuries and damages.

Establishing Liability

2. Determining Damages

Another reason to go to trial for a car accident is to determine the full extent of damages. If the other party’s insurance company offers a settlement, it may not cover all of the damages. By going to trial, you can present evidence of all damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. This can result in a higher compensation award.

Determining Damages

3. Holding Negligent Parties Accountable

Going to trial for a car accident can also hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. If the other party was reckless or intentionally caused the accident, they should be held responsible for their actions. A trial will allow you to pursue punitive damages, which are intended to punish the negligent party and deter others from similar behavior.

Holding Negligent Parties Accountable

4. Protecting Future Victims

Going to trial for a car accident can also protect future victims. By holding negligent parties accountable, it sends a message to others that reckless behavior will not be tolerated. This can lead to improved driving habits and fewer accidents in the future.

Protecting Future Victims

5. Avoiding Unfair Settlement Offers

Insurance companies may offer low settlement amounts to avoid going to trial. However, the settlement amount may not fully compensate you for your injuries and damages. By going to trial, you have the opportunity to receive fair compensation for your losses.

Avoiding Unfair Settlement Offers

6. Accessing Experts

Going to trial for a car accident also allows you to access experts who can testify on your behalf. These experts may include accident reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and financial experts. Their testimony can strengthen your case and help you recover compensation for your losses.

Accessing Experts

7. Adapting to New Evidence

Going to trial for a car accident allows you to adapt to new evidence that may be discovered during the case. If new evidence surfaces during the trial, your lawyer can present it to the court and use it to strengthen your case.

Adapting to New Evidence

8. Building a Stronger Case

Going to trial for a car accident allows you to build a stronger case. Your lawyer can take depositions, gather documents and evidence, and interview witnesses to develop a case that is persuasive and backed by facts. This can lead to a more favorable outcome in court.

Building a Stronger Case

9. Recovering Compensation

Going to trial for a car accident can help you recover full compensation for your injuries and damages. This includes compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage. A trial can result in a higher compensation award than a settlement offer.

Recovering Compensation

10. Seeking Justice

Going to trial for a car accident allows you to seek justice for the harm that was caused. By holding negligent parties accountable, you can help prevent similar accidents from happening in the future. A trial can provide closure and a sense of justice for the injured party and their loved ones.

Seeking Justice

In conclusion, going to trial for a car accident may be necessary to ensure that the injured party receives fair compensation. It can establish liability, determine damages, hold negligent parties accountable, protect future victims, avoid unfair settlement offers, access experts, adapt to new evidence, build a stronger case, recover compensation, and seek justice. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.

What Happens When You Go to Trial for a Car Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering what happens when your case goes to trial. Here’s everything you need to know to prepare for your day in court.

Pre-Trial Preparation

Before your trial begins, there will be a period of preparation. This will involve gathering evidence, exchanging information with the other parties involved, and potentially negotiations to settle the case outside of court. It’s essential to have a good lawyer who can help you navigate this process effectively.

Voir Dire

During the trial, the judge will select a group of jurors to hear the case. This process is known as voir dire and involves questioning potential jurors to ensure they can be impartial. Both sides will have the opportunity to ask questions of the jurors and challenge their selection if necessary.

Opening Statements

Once the jury is selected, each side will make an opening statement. This is a chance to introduce their case and explain their interpretation of the evidence. Attorneys typically use this time to make an emotional appeal to the jury and set the tone for the rest of the trial.

Evidence Presentation

During the trial, both sides will present evidence to support their claims. This can include physical evidence like photos and eyewitness testimony. Expert witnesses may be called to provide scientific or technical information related to the case.

Witness Testimony

Witness testimony forms a crucial part of any trial. Both sides will have the opportunity to call witnesses and cross-examine the other side’s witnesses. It’s essential to prepare your witnesses thoroughly to ensure they provide accurate and compelling testimony.

Closing Arguments

After all the evidence has been presented, both sides will make closing arguments. This is a chance to summarize the case and make a final appeal to the jury. Attorneys will use this time to highlight the strengths of their case and attack weaknesses in the other side’s argument.

Jury Deliberation

After closing arguments, the jury will retire to deliberate on the verdict. This can take anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the complexity of the case. It’s essential to be patient during this process and allow the jury to take the time they need to make an informed decision.


Once the jury has reached a verdict, they will return to the courtroom to read it aloud. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, and it can be nerve-wracking. Whatever the outcome, it’s essential to remain calm and respectful towards the judge and jury.


If you’re unhappy with the verdict, you may have the option to appeal. This involves asking a higher court to review the case and potentially overturn the decision. However, appeals are often lengthy and expensive, so it’s essential to weigh your options carefully.

Post-Trial Considerations

Depending on the outcome of your trial, you may need to take further action. If you’ve won the case, you’ll need to collect damages from the other party. If you’ve lost, you may need to pay damages or consider an appeal. It’s crucial to consult with your attorney to determine the best course of action moving forward.

Voir Dire


Common Reasons for Going to Trial for a Car Accident

When a car accident occurs, there are factors that may result in one or both parties going to trial. Here are some common reasons:

Negotiating Agreement

One reason for proceeding to trial could be a failure to agree on a settlement arrangement. This may result from disagreement over issues such as fault, denied claims, or the amount of compensation offered. It may also occur when one party feels the compensation offered is inadequate.

Negotiating agreement

Criminal Liability

If one or both drivers are accused of a crime, such as reckless driving or driving under the influence, it may become a criminal case that goes to trial. In such cases, the consequences may be severe, including the possibility of jail time and license revocation.

Criminal Liability

Disputed Liability

When there is a dispute as to which driver was at fault, it may lead to a trial. This can occur if both parties have opposing versions of the events leading to the accident or if there are no eyewitnesses. This type of case requires substantial evidence to prove the liability of one driver over the other.

Disputed Liability

No Insurance

If one driver is uninsured or under-insured, it could result in a legal battle that goes to trial. Without insurance, the at-fault driver may face significant financial liability. In some states, uninsured motorists are liable for all damages resulting from an accident.

No Insurance


In some cases, a driver may appeal a decision by a lower court regarding a car accident case. The appeal may be based on various factors such as errors of law, new evidence or inadequate compensation ordered by the lower court. If successful, the case returns to court where a resolution is sought.


Reason for going to trial Example
Negotiating Agreement When parties can’t agree on compensation
Criminal Liability Driver charged with reckless driving or DUI
Disputed Liability Both drivers blame each other
No Insurance Driver at fault has no insurance
Appeals Seeking a higher court resolution


The decision to go to trial must be taken carefully considering the potential cost, time, and resources needed. It is always better to avoid litigation if possible by exploring other options for settling the dispute. However, when there is no consensus in a car accident case, both parties should seek the help of experienced car accident attorneys.

To understand the process and possible outcomes of going to trial for a car accident case, check out this trial guide provided by Shouse Law. It covers everything from preparing for trial to presenting evidence and testimony in court.

Hope You Don’t Have To Go To Trial! But If You Do…

Thank you for taking the time to read through this article. We understand that going to trial for a car accident can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience. Our goal was to provide you with some helpful information to prepare you for the process. Remember, the most important thing is to stay calm and collected, and to work with a qualified attorney who has your best interests in mind. We wish you the best of luck, and hope that you don’t have to go to trial at all. But if you do, we hope that this article has helped to ease your mind and make the process more manageable. Be sure to visit us again soon for more informative articles like this one!

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