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After the filing of the complaint, the person against whom the complaint was filed has a chance to respond and either admit or deny the allegations of the complaint. Then there is a discovery period where the lawyers on both sides of the case go on a fact-finding mission. After that, the case would be ready for trial.

Car accident trials are not fun experiences. People generally do not come out of the process and say that it was fun and that they want to do it again. These trials last a long time, they’re expensive, and your personal life can be invaded. It has both financial costs and emotional costs. For this reason, it is important to retain an experienced Winston-Salem car accident lawyer who can help make the process of your case goes more smoothly, and will work with your best interest in mind.

Length of a Case

The litigation process can last anywhere from at least a year at the very minimum to as long as two years or more.

There are various factors which can affect the length of a case. These factors include the complexity of the injuries, the medical treatment that was received, or other technical aspects of the claim that require expert witness testimony or things that would need to be explained in greater detail to a jury.

Process of Presenting a Case

The vast majority of car accidents are jury trials, but they can also be bench trials. However, if a lawyer thinks that a judge might be better-suited to answer the issues that are relevant in the case rather than a jury of 12, then a lawyer might decide it’s better to have a bench trial rather than a jury trial.

Both parties give an opening statement and they do so for the purpose of trying to give some context to the evidence that the jury’s about to hear. In the opening statement, an attorney is forecasting for the jury the evidence they are about to see, and hear, and give them an idea of what’s coming and ways in which they should think about it.

The plaintiff or the injured party will present their case first, and the defendant or the person against whom a lawsuit is filed will present their case second.

Both parties will present closing statements. In closing statements, the lawyer is summarizing the evidence that they just heard and is arming the jurors with the information necessary so when in deliberation, they can reach a conclusion in their client’s favor.

Multiple Defendants

If there are multiple defendants, the litigation will proceed in the same order as it does if there is just one; just the time allotted for the defendants would be divided accordingly.

Having multiple defendants could potentially influence the outcome of the case. When dealing with multiple defendants and one is more or less culpable than another or a defendant is less likable than another, it could have an impact. For example, if a large corporate actor employed somebody who is negligent and if the jury is angry at the large corporate actor, it could potentially influence the outcome of a case.

When there are multiple defendants on the stand, it is not difficult to talk due to house privacy laws because when an injured person files a lawsuit seeking compensation for bodily injuries, their medical condition in issue amounts to a waiver of privacy.

Important Elements of a Case

In a car accident case, litigators will always focus on making sure that the evidence that is necessary to support each essential element of their claim is admissible and is actually admitted, which are evidentiary matters. Also, preserving the record in case it became necessary to appeal an outcome.

Preserving the record has to do with the potential for an appeal. If an appeal became necessary, preserving the record is making timely objections or, in the case of evidence that maybe a court declined to admit during the trial, you still have to preserve the record by making an offer of proof to demonstrate what the evidence would have been and what it would have shown so that the reviewing appellate court can review it and decide whether the failure to admit the evidence did or did not constitute a reversible error.

Hiring a Lawyer in Winston-Salem

There are procedural tools that a lawyer can use to protect information that should be treated confidential and that would be the lawyer’s job to know when and where to use those tools as appropriate.

A car accident lawyer would present their arguments to multiple defendants in the same way they would present their case against a single defendant; by presenting evidence in support of each essential element of their claim against each particular defendant.