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What Happens if my Personal Injury Claim Goes to Trial?

Personal injury claims can be, and often are, resolved before a lawsuit is filed, but it is not uncommon that personal injury claims go to court. Usually, this action is sought out by the plaintiff, the injured party, to seek out justice after denial of claims by insurance companies. The process can be a lengthy one, with most cases lasting a minimum of a few months. 

Many accidents and injuries will be resolved with informal settlements, but some claims will need a Florida personal injury trial lawyer. Common causes for a case making it to court are neither party can reach an agreement on who was responsible or if any responsibility is present, neither party can agree on the amount for compensation, or the plaintiff would like to sue because they feel that it is necessary to receive the compensation they deserve. 

If your case does go to trial, you will first undergo pre trial phases, which include:

  • Complaint and answer phase: a complaint is a document detailing allegations about injury and the measure of damages. After this is filed, it is read by the defendant, where they have the opportunity to admit or deny the allegations. 
  • Discovery phase: where the formal exchange of information occurs between both sides. It includes witness testimony and any evidence that can be used in the trial. 
  • Motions: the proposal written to the court requesting a ruling. 

After that, your case will go to mediation if either side wishes, as an alternative to solve without trial, facilitated by a mediator. If this does not happen, a trial will provide a plaintiff the opportunity to argue their case before a jury. The jury will examine the evidence and rule on whether or not the defendant is liable. The trial will consist of jury selection, opening statements, witness testimony, cross-examination, closing arguments, jury instruction, and jury verdict. 

If the trial ends up favoring the plaintiff, it can still take a while to wrap up. The defendant may appeal the case to search for a different verdict. If the defendant does not bring up an appeal, it will likely take some time before plaintiffs receive compensation. Once a plaintiff does receive payment, the case is considered closed. 

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