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What Happens If My Personal Injury Case Goes To Trial?

Posted on 03/15/24

The vast majority of personal injury claims in Texas get resolved through settlements with the insurance carriers involved in the claim. For example, vehicle accident claims are regularly settled with auto insurance carriers. Slip and fall claims on private property may get resolved through a settlement with a homeowner’s insurance policy.

However, what happens if a claim does not settle and has to go to trial? Does this mean you have to go to court?

The Discover Process – You May Not Make It to Trial

The first step after a personal injury lawsuit gets filed in civil court is “discovery.” The discovery process can take quite some time. 

The process of discovery involves exchanging all available evidence with the other legal teams involved along with possibly taking depositions of potential witnesses in the case. As the discovery process proceeds forward, there may be more evidence that comes to light as investigations continue to take place. Any new evidence that any party receives will be turned over to all other parties involved as part of the discovery process.

It is not uncommon for negotiations to continue at some point during discovery. As more evidence comes to light, both parties are able to see a more clear picture of what occurred. This may convince one party to settle or another party to drop the claim altogether.

Sometimes, a judge will order the two parties to go through a mediation before scheduling a trial in a last-ditch effort to try and settle the claim before the expense of a jury trial becomes necessary.

The Trial By Jury

In the event the claim does not settle at any point during the discovery process, a trial by jury will be scheduled. It can take years for a trial to get scheduled. When a claim does finally make it to the courtroom, the process can seem intimidating. You will have to go to a courtroom with a jury where your attorney, as well as the attorney for the defendant(s), will have a chance to make their case.

During the trial process, your attorney will have a chance to present evidence and call witnesses. The legal team for the defendant will also have a chance to do the same thing. Your attorney will have a chance to cross-examine any witnesses called by the defense and vice versa. Attorneys for both parties will get a chance to make closing arguments after presenting all of their witnesses and evidence, and then the jury will have a chance to deliberate behind closed doors.

The jury’s goal is to determine if the defendant more likely than not caused the plaintiff’s injuries. If that is what the jury decides, then they will decide in favor of the injury victim and also decide how much compensation the victim should receive.

Working With an Attorney

Going through the personal injury trial process is daunting. Having a skilled Laredo personal injury lawyer by your side will be incredibly valuable as you work to recover the compensation you are entitled to. Your attorney can handle every aspect of the claim, including investigating the incident and handling all communication with other parties. Ultimately, if the case goes to trial, your lawyer will have your back so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.