What Happens When You Go to Court for a Car Accident?
If you’re experiencing a crash for the first time in Houston, it can be difficult to know what to do, more so in a state of distress and even shock. You may wonder whether you should sue the person at fault or hire an attorney to help you recover damages. Here we break down everything you need to know regarding car accidents and filing a case in court.
Houston is one of the most populated cities in Texas. In 2012 alone, there were over 47,000 accidents on Houston’s roads, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. 176 of those crashes were fatal, leading to a total of almost 200 deaths. Roughly 5,000 crashes caused serious injuries to over 7,000 people. Minor crashed and related injuries were even more common, with over 12,000 minor accidents injuring almost 20,000.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and doesn’t know what to do or where to go for filing a claim, contact us for expert help regarding your car accident. We will break down your legal rights and responsibilities to you and discuss your options with you. If it comes to it, we will also represent you in court to ensure you present as thorough a case as possible to win the compensation and damages you deserve.
What Makes an Auto Car Accident Case Go to Court?
Most auto accident cases do not end up in court. However, when you hire an auto accident lawyer, he/she will investigate and gather evidence to prove your damages. If your lawyer and the at-fault party insurance company can agree on a fair settlement, a trial won’t be necessary. In case you cannot reach an agreement, the following situations can lead an auto accident case going all the way to court:
- Both parties failing to agree on the person who caused the accident.
- The insurance company declining to pay more money for damages despite your attorney’s negotiations.
- The insurance company declining to offer a fair settlement by paying out an amount that is substantially less than what you are entitled to. In such cases, your lawyer may advise you to take the claim to trial.
What Happens When Your Auto Accident Claim Goes to Court?
When a personal injury case goes to court, both parties are given an opportunity to present the evidence they have. It is at this point that an auto accident lawyer plays an important role. He/she will prepare your case for trial after gathering evidence to support your claim.
Presentation of Evidence
You’ll have to present evidence that convinces the judge or jury that the other party was negligent or responsible for causing the injuries you sustained in the crash. This burden of proof can motivate jury members to rule the case in your favor even if they’re not sure about the decision.
The types of evidence that your attorney may present during an auto accident trial include:
- Medical records
- Accident reports
- Witness interviews
- Other evidence that proves your injuries
- Expert interviews from a doctor that treated you
Once you’ve presented evidence, the at-fault party and their attorney will then cross-examine your witnesses or yourself, provide objections to presented evidence, then present their evidence. The decision will then proceed to the jury after both parties have presented their claims.
Your lawyer will keenly gauge how sympathetic the jury is towards the case you filed. If the jury is sympathetic, you may get a higher award than what you were expecting. Injury cases are also referred to as civil cases, which means their focus is on helping the crash victim recover losses incurred as opposed to simply punishing the at-fault party. The jury will decide on the following after both parties have presented their evidence during the auto accident trial:
- The person responsible for the crash
- The amount you should be compensated by your insurance company for damages caused
If your attorney is able to prove what happened by presenting a thorough representation, you’ll get the monetary award you deserve for damages causes or losses incurred.
Lawsuits tend to be expensive and most auto accident lawyers will only take a case to trial if they think it will win you the compensation you deserve. If you’re not sure about your claim, contact our local team of Houston accident lawyers for further guidance.
Talk to an Auto Accident Attorney in Houston Today
Our lawyers know how to win auto accident cases. Sometimes it’s possible to agree on a fair settlement with the at-fault party insurer without going to court. However, if you opt for a trial, we’re ready to represent you all the way until the case is decided. Call us today on 713-677-2159 for a free consultation and to discuss your options.
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