When you go to court for a car accident, your attorney can represent you and present your case to a judge and jury. When going to court, your main goal is to recover compensation for your damages. For example, you might file a lawsuit because the insurance company refused fair compensation for your losses through negotiations.
During the court case, your car accident lawyer can pursue compensation for the medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and emotional damages you incurred because of your injuries. If you convince a jury to rule in your favor, it will then determine how much money the liable party must pay you.
What to Expect During the Court Case for Your Car Accident
When you go to court to seek compensation for your losses after a car accident, you can expect the following to happen:
- Jury selection: Texas Courts states that each county randomly selects citizens’ names from lists of registered voters, licensed drivers, and Texas ID card holders. Attorneys for both sides can question jurors to ensure they do not have any bias—such as race, gender, age, or political affiliation—that could affect their decision on the case. They then work with the judge to choose the jurors for the case.
- Opening statements: Each party has the opportunity to stand in front of the jury to state the facts of the case and provide information about their position on the matter.
- Examinations: During this trial phase, witnesses provide their testimony, with both sides offered the opportunity to question them. For example, cross-examinations can give a lot of insight into the cause of the crash.
- Closing arguments: The attorneys for each party sum up the evidence and witness testimony, explaining why they support a decision in their favor. These statements are the last thing the jury hears before they start deliberations.
- Verdict: Once the jury has deliberated, it comes back with a verdict regarding the defendant’s responsibility for the crash. If the jury finds them liable, it could order them to compensate you for your losses. The jury also determines the monetary award you will receive.
The timeline for how long a car accident civil trial lasts varies based on many factors, including how much evidence each side presents and the number of witnesses each side calls. Another aspect involves how long the jury takes to decide on the matter.
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Damages You Can Recover in a Car Accident Court Case
During the court case, your attorney can present evidence to prove you sustained recoverable damages—the losses you incurred because of the injuries you suffered in the car accident. When negotiations fail, you can seek economic and noneconomic damages through your court case.
Economic damages signify the monetary losses your injuries caused. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses: You can pursue compensation for any expense you incurred related to your medical care. For example, you might have paid out-of-pocket for diagnostic tests, rehabilitative therapies, surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and doctor’s visits. In addition, you can seek compensation for future medical bills you could incur to treat lifelong injuries.
- Lost earnings: During a hospital stay or your injury recovery, you could lose income because you cannot work during that time. Through the court case, you can seek compensation for past, present, and future income losses you might experience because of your injuries.
- Vehicle repairs: You can receive compensation for your repair bills or the replacement value of your vehicle.
- Additional monetary losses: Other losses include travel or child care expenses and necessary modifications to your home and car to have better accessibility should the accident leave you paralyzed.
This category compensates you for how your injuries negatively affected your life (e.g., psychological and emotional impacts). Noneconomic damages you could seek include:
- Physical pain and suffering: You can pursue compensation for the physical trauma you experienced because of your injuries. In addition to physical pain, you could also seek compensation if your injuries caused you discomfort or inconvenience.
- Mental anguish: Car accidents and their associated injuries can cause many emotional issues. If you experience anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, fear while driving or riding in a car, or sleep issues because of the accident, you could pursue compensation for mental anguish.
- Loss of enjoyment: Before the car accident, you might have enjoyed activities, such as hobbies or sports. However, if you no longer participate in these activities or generally enjoy life as much, you could pursue compensation for loss of enjoyment damages.
You typically need compelling evidence to recover noneconomic damages. In addition, it’s often challenging to value these intangible losses. However, your attorney can not only gather ample evidence to prove you sustained these losses, but they can also calculate the value of these damages.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney to Help You Through the Court Process
Do you need to take your car accident claim to court after sustaining severe injuries? If so, it helps to understand what happens when you go to court for a car crash. The legal process can last weeks to years, depending on many factors. However, when you have a car accident attorney take on your case, they can explain in further detail what you could expect for your specific case.
Contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins today for a free consultation with a car accident attorney from our team. We can provide information on what to expect if your case goes to court and offer legal advice on the best ways to proceed. In addition, our team will negotiate for a fair agreement and stand by your side throughout the court case.