Although many personal injury claims are settled privately, some do need to go to court to be determined by a judge and jury. When this happens, both parties need to appear in court to present their evidence to the jury. This can be a complicated, stressful process for both parties. But sometimes, it is the only way to resolve a personal injury case.
How Long Does a Trial Last?
Generally, it takes about one to two years for a personal injury claim to reach the courtroom. In nearly all cases, the parties involved in a claim try to avoid going to court and in a year or so after a claim is followed, may try to negotiate a settlement multiple times. This can include alternative dispute resolution strategies like mediation. Once a personal injury lawsuit is filed, the trial can take a week or longer. In rare cases, trials are over quickly.
The Stages of a Personal Injury Trial
In most cases, a personal injury trial follows the stages outlined below:
- The lawsuit is filed;
- Both sides engage in the discovery process, which can include subpoenas, requests for document submissions, interrogations, and depositions;
- Often, there is another attempt to settle the case at this stage. With the information collected during discovery, the parties’ lawyers might try to mediate the case to reach a settlement; then
- If the case cannot be settled, it is scheduled for trial. During the trial, both parties present their evidence to the jury, who then reviews the evidence to determine whether the alleged victim is entitled to receive compensation. Once the jury reaches a verdict, the judge makes a ruling in favor of either the plaintiff or the defendant.
How is Financial Compensation for a Personal Injury Claim Identified?
Determining an appropriate amount of compensation for a victim’s medical bills and lost wages is simple because these expenses can be quantified with pay stubs and medical bills. These are known as special damages. General damages, which include compensation for pain and suffering and the drop in quality of life experienced by the victim, are less easy to quantify. How you present your claim to the jury will impact how your compensation is calculated, so it is important that you clearly articulate the impact the injury has had on your life and provide substantial documentation to support your claims.
Work with an Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm
Not all personal injury claims go to court. Many are settled out of court, which is a less stressful, less expensive process for all parties involved. But sometimes, the parties involved in a personal injury claim cannot reach an agreement and when this is the case, going to court can be necessary. If you are suffering from an injury caused by another party’s negligence, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine all of your options and which is best for your case. Contact our team at Grant & Longworth, Attorneys at Law, today to set up your initial consultation with us.