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Going to Trial for a Car Accident


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If you have been in a car accident and the other person is at fault, there are many ways to deal with it. You should first document the accident as much as possible to ensure you have evidence to prove that the accident was not your fault. You can attempt to settle your case with the insurance company prior to filing a lawsuit.  If that doesn’t work, then you will likely need to file a car accident lawsuit.  Once you file suit, there are still options for you to try and resolve your case without having to go to trial, such as through mediation or arbitration.   

However, if those options don’t work out, you may need to take your case to court to obtain fair compensation.

At Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, our car accident attorneys have years of experience in trials stemming from car accidents. If you choose our firm, we will aggressively defend your rights and do everything to help you get the compensation you deserve. You won’t find personal injury lawyers with a more impressive track record of success at trial – that is why we are The Virginia Trial Firm.

If you want to learn more, please contact our firm to schedule a free evaluation of your case.

This article will give an overview of car accidents, how they happen, and how to best protect yourself after one occurs.

The attorneys with Cantor Grana Buckner & Bucci will be ready if your car accident case goes to trial.

Why Car Accidents Go to Trial

Car accident lawsuits can go to trial for several reasons.  The most common is that the insurance company does not want to accept responsibility by paying a fair amount for the car accident claim. Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci attorneys are well aware of the tricks insurance companies often play when denying car accident claims. You may be able to benefit from that knowledge.

How the Car Accident Trial Process Works

If there is a settlement before trial, mediation is often the most effective way to accomplish that. Mediation often saves time and money because both parties sit down with a mediator and try to reach an agreement.

If that option fails, then the case may go to trial. Trial is where each side gets to present evidence in front of a judge or jury. Then, the judge or jury will decide who is at fault and how much money the victim in the case, known as the “plaintiff,” should receive as compensation.

It’s essential to have an experienced car accident lawyer if you need to appear in court. They will help you through the entire process and ensure you get what you deserve.

It’s also important to know what to expect going into a trial to better understand what is happening.

Here’s a step-by-step look at some of the main elements of a trial, which include the following:

-The opening statements

-The plaintiff’s and defendant’s presentation of evidence

-Jury deliberations

-The verdict

car accident victim with lawyer preparing for a trial

Jury Selection

One of the first things in a car accident trial is jury selection. Jury Selection is where the parties have an opportunity to choose jurors who they think will be sympathetic to their case. The defense and plaintiff can use peremptory challenges to remove potential jurors without giving a reason or motions to strike for cause, to ask the court to remove potential jurors for a specific reason, such as bias

Opening Statements

Opening statements occur at the beginning of a trial by both the plaintiff and defense lawyers. These statements don’t necessarily present evidence; instead, they set the stage for what is to come. The plaintiff’s lawyer will explain to the jury how they plan to prove the plaintiff suffered harm due to the defendant’s negligence. The defendant’s lawyer will try to cast doubt on the plaintiff’s case and make the jury think that the car accident wasn’t as bad as it seems.

The Plaintiff’s Presentation of Evidence

Once the plaintiff’s attorney has presented their opening statement, it’s time to present evidence. The car accident lawyers may offer evidence such as photos of the car accident scene, medical bills, medical records, and police reports, as well as the testimony of any witnesses and the parties.

The Defendant’s Presentation of Evidence

After the plaintiff has finished presenting their case, the defense will present their case. The defense attorney may try to prove that the accident wasn’t the defendant’s fault – trying to create doubt as to how the accident happened. They may also argue that the plaintiff didn’t suffer as severe of injuries as he/she claims and does not deserve compensation.

Closing Arguments

Once both car accident lawyers have presented their cases, it’s time for them to present closing arguments, which is a chance for each lawyer, to sum up, all the evidence and persuade the jury to find it in their favor.

Jury Deliberations

After both sides have presented their cases, it is now time for a jury or judge to decide the car accident case. This means finding who was at fault and awarding compensation. 

The Verdict

After the jury has made their decision, it’s time for a verdict to be read -either by the judge or foreperson of the jury. In Virginia, if the jury finds the plaintiff at fault, they will not receive any compensation. However, if the jury finds the defendant at fault, they may have to pay a lot more than they would have if they had agreed to an equitable settlement rather than go to trial.

car turned upside-down after road collision, car accident trial

How Long Does a Car Accident Trial Usually Last?

A car accident trial can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. It depends on the case’s complexity and how many witnesses and evidence must be presented.

What Happens After the Trial?

In Virginia, if the plaintiff is found to be at fault, they will not receive any compensation. However, if the defendant is at fault, then the judge or jury will decide how much money to award the plaintiff. 

Now that you know a bit about car accident trials, you can be better prepared if one happens to you. Having an experienced car accident lawyer by your side is essential and will make the process much easier to understand.

Can I Appeal a Car Accident Trial Result?

If you’re not happy with the outcome of your trial, then you may be able to appeal the decision. This process can be lengthy and can take up to a year or more to complete. You’ll need to file an appeal with the court and have a good reason why you think the original verdict was incorrect.

Why Most Car Accident Cases Don’t Go to Trial

Settlements are often more beneficial to both parties than going to trial. However, a trial is also a lengthy and costly process, so car accident lawyers usually only go to trial if they think they have a strong case.

Most car accident cases are settled outside of court through negotiations between the car accident lawyers and the insurance company. This is because settlements are often more beneficial to both parties than going to trial.

Broken Windshield in car

Why Hiring the Right Personal Injury Lawyer is So Important in a Car Accident Case

Hiring lawyers who have a good track record of winning cases is essential. At Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, we have a team of them. If your car accident case goes to a jury trial, we’ll be more than ready to build the strongest argument possible on your behalf. Get in touch with us for a free consultation as soon as you can.

What Our Client Say:

"During an extremely emotional time you were understanding, caring, professional, and communicated clearly every step of the way."
Craig and Cassye M.
"Their trial experience is very impressive. They were willing to listen to us and asked probing questions for case preparation."
Deborah and David C.
"I always felt confident that my case was in the right hands."
Samantha P.
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