When you go to court for a car accident, a jury will decide if the other driver caused your accident and is legally responsible for your damages. Damages is a legal term that refers to financial compensation for your losses caused by the accident. You may be entitled to damages for medical bills, harm to your vehicle, and more.
Lawyers for both sides will present the case to a jury. A personal injury lawyer with our firm can guide you through the process of preparing for the trial and going through it.
Who Can Go to Court for a Car Accident?
If you were hurt in an accident caused by another driver, you can go to court. You also have the option of settling out of court with the at-fault driver and his insurance company.
Many drivers choose to settle because they can receive their financial compensation more quickly, requiring lower legal fees. Going to court often takes longer and requires court costs and attorney fees. However, if you cannot agree on a settlement with the insurance company, going to court may allow you to recover fair compensation.
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Recoverable Damages From a Car Accident
Car accidents can leave you with hefty bills and serious injuries. If your injuries prevent you from working, your bills may add up, and you could feel overwhelmed. If another driver caused your accident, you might be able to recover damages for certain expenses.
These can include:
You may seek compensation for:
- Emergency medical treatment
- Ambulance bills
- Diagnostic imaging
- Doctor’s appointments
- And more
You may seek compensation for tow truck bills, auto body repairs, mechanical repairs, or vehicle replacement.
Past and Future Lost Wages
You may seek past lost wages for unpaid time off work during your recovery and future lost wages if you cannot return to work.
Pain and Suffering
You can seek compensation for pain and suffering under OCGA §9-10-184 if your injuries:
- Are severe
- Take a long time to heal
- Permanently disable you
- Cause mental health problems
- And more
What to Expect During the Trial?
If you take your car accident case to trial, here is an overview of what happens in court:
According to OCGA §15-12-122, Georgia juries for a civil trial typically have six members. If the claim is worth more than $25,000, either side may ask for a jury of 12. The judge will ask potential jury members questions to make sure they have no prejudices and judge the case fairly.
Lawyers for each side will make an opening statement that presents the facts and their position to the jury.
Witness Testimony and Cross-Examination
Both lawyers can call witnesses and present evidence supporting their argument. Lawyers for each side can cross-examine or ask questions of witnesses for the other side. The court may call you to testify.
Lawyers for each side will summarize their arguments to convince the jury of their position.
The judge will give the jury specific instructions about deciding the case and remind them of relevant laws or responsibilities.
Jury Deliberation and Verdict
The jury will meet in private to discuss the case and decide on a verdict.
The length of a jury trial varies from case to case. Factors such as the number of witnesses called and the amount of time the jury deliberates affect the total length of the trial.
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How a Lawyer with Our Firm Can Help a Car Accident Case in Court
Your lawyer will work hard before and during the trial to advocate for you. Here’s how:
- File a lawsuit: Your lawyer will file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out.
- Investigate the accident: Your lawyer will investigate which driver was negligent and liable for the accident. He will collect compelling evidence that the other driver’s negligence caused your injuries.
- Persuasively argue your case: Your lawyer will work hard to convince the jury of the other driver’s negligence. He will also argue in support of the dollar value of your damages.
- Appeal the judgment, if necessary: If the jury rules against you, your lawyer can file an appeal.
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Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit After a Car Accident
Georgia limits how long you have to file a lawsuit after a car accident. OCGA §9-3-33 establishes the statute of limitations for personal injury at two years, which means you have two years to sue the at-fault driver. If you wait too long, you forfeit your right to sue.
Our Firm Can Litigate Your Case
When you go to court for a car accident, we will be right there with you, fighting for your right to fair compensation. We have decades of experience litigating personal injuries caused by car accidents and more. We offer free, no-obligation case consultations and work on contingency, so you pay nothing unless we win your case.
Call Our Team for a Free Consultation
Call Kaine Law today to speak with our team. The sooner you call, the sooner we can start working for you. We can also answer your questions about what would happen if you were to go to court for your car accident.