Lots of injured victims are usually hesitant to pursue a personal injury claims against the responsible party simply because they have be opportune to see the dramatic trial scene in movies and on television. But realistically, trials are not nearly as dramatic as they are usually portrayed in entertainment. More so, a large number of personal injuries cases might not really see the inside of a court room, let alone make it to trial. This is usually because there are plenty of steps your experienced personal injury lawyers will take before trial the secure your settlement without the need for a stressful litigation.
Demand letter: in some case, what it takes to have the case settles is a demand letter from your attorney to the defendant’s insurance company and the defendant. This letter will make it known that you have suffer certain injuries and you should be entitled to certain amount of compensation, usually because your injuries occurred due to the negligence of the defendant. It is not certain that this demand letter will resolved the case, some defendants may agree to pay the sum. This is the first phase in the negotiation of settlement with the other side. Usually there are certain ethical rule that you attorney must follow duly.
Further negotiations: usually when the first demand letter is rejected, it is often countered with a smaller offer by the insurance of the defendant. Negotiating for settlement is a process so the request may go back and forth so many times before a reasonable agreement is reached.
In the trial of a personal injury, the jury or judge usually examines the evidence to be sure whether the defendant should be held responsible for the harm and injury claimed by the plaintiff by a preponderance of the evidence. Trails usually are the opportunity for the plaintiff to argue his or her case, usually hoping to obtain a judgment against the defendant. It is also the defendant’s opportunity to refute the plaintiff’s case by offering his or her own evidence corresponding to the dispute.
When both parties have presented their respective arguments, the judge then considers whether to find the defendant culpable for the injuries claimed by the plaintiff and if yes, to what extend?
Although trials are the most high profile phase of the lawsuit process for personal injuries, a lot of personal injury issues are usually resolved before trial and even before the lawsuit is filed in some cases, through settlement between the involved parties, through dismissal, alternative dispute resolution and through processes like mediation and arbitration.
A personal injury trial when completed usually consists of the following:
1. Selecting or choosing the jury
2. Opening statement
3. Cross examination and witness testimony
4. Closing arguments
5. Jury instruction
6. Jury deliberation and verdict