The legal drama that unfolds on popular television shows can be a far cry from the actuality of a trial. In fact, the road to the lawsuit, as well as the trial itself, often moves much slower than people expect. While most personal injury claims end in settlement long before the need for a trial ever arises, some do proceed to court. Here, we will go into more detail about what you can expect at a personal injury trial
What Happens During a Personal Injury Trial
There can be many reasons why the insurance company for a defendant did not make an adequate settlement offer on a claim and a lawsuit follows. Perhaps the insurance companies thinks it can be successful in asserting that their insured was not actually covered by insurance at the time of the accident. Alternatively, the insurance company may have an angle to work on disputing that their insured was actually at-fault in causing an accident. Insurance companies also frequently tend to try and fight a damage award based on attempting to undermine the injuries and other losses claimed by a plaintiff. An insurance company may assert preexisting conditions are what a plaintiff is actually trying to seek coverage for or that the plaintiff is exaggerating the extent of the injuries suffered.
No matter the reason, failure to reach a settlement agreement may lead to an injury victim having to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party in order to seek compensation for losses sustained in the accident. After the filing of a lawsuit, the other side has the opportunity to respond to the allegations asserted in the complaint. Formal discovery proceedings will then commence.
Discovery is a fact-finding mission for each side. Both plaintiff and defendant want to gather as much information about the case the other side is making as well as gathering information to strengthen their own position. During discovery, interrogatories will be served and answered, documents will be requested and produced, and depositions will be taken. In addition to discovery proceedings, mediation may be held prior to a personal injury trial, either ordered by the court or voluntarily entered into by both parties. At the mediation, a neutral mediator will try to facilitate discussions so that a mutually agreeable settlement arrangement may be reached.
At a personal injury trial, both sides will be entitled to present their case in full. This will involve presenting evidence to support their case as well as working to undermine the case of the other side. Witness testimony will be heard. Medical records will be examined and accident reports will be poured over. At the end of the trial, the judge or a jury will render a verdict as to whether the defendant should be held liable for the injuries sustained by the plaintiff and, if so, how much the plaintiff should receive for the harm he or she has suffered.
New York City Personal Injury Attorney
Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. persists in holding insurance companies accountable for what they owe injured parties. He will fight for you until you receive the compensation to which you are legally entitled. Contact our office today.