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How to Know If Your Case Will Go to Trial

Determining If Your Personal Injury Case Will Go to Trial

Although filing a personal injury lawsuit opens up the possibility of substantial compensation, a case that goes to trial can take a long time to complete. It's estimated that upward of 95 percent of personal injury lawsuits end in a pretrial settlement, which means that you would be able to avoid going to trial. Our Allentown car accident lawyer here at Metzger & Kleiner can properly represent your case whether it goes to trial or is settled beforehand.

Consulting With an Attorney and Investigating the Case

The first phase of the process that occurs when filing a personal injury lawsuit involves consulting with an attorney to determine if your case is strong enough to go to court. During this initial consultation, you should inform the lawyer about certain aspects of your case, such as:
    • What legal options you've already explored
    • The medical costs that you've incurred from your injury
    • The severity and extent of your injuries
    • If you believe that the other party was negligent
Once potential defendants have been identified, the lawyer you choose will conduct a comprehensive investigation of your case, taking a look at everything from the police report to any witness statements that were taken in the immediate aftermath of the accident. It's at this time that your attorney will likely work with medical experts and accident reconstruction experts to determine if everything that you've said about the accident is correct and if this information can be proven in a court of law. The key to a successful personal injury lawsuit involving a car accident is proving that another driver was at fault for the accident, which is what this investigation works toward. Once all of the evidence has been gathered, your lawyer will send a demand for settlement to the defendant via a demand letter. This letter will include most of the information that your attorney has gathered pertaining to your case. The opposing party will then have the ability to reject the initial demand, to make a counteroffer, or to accept it, leading to a settlement. Many cases involving personal injuries end at this step. If the case cannot be successfully settled, a personal injury lawsuit will be officially filed.

Discovery Phase and Mediation

Before the case goes to trial, the discovery phase of the process will take place. This allows both sides of the case to obtain evidence from one another in order to build a strong case. Once the appropriate evidence has been gathered and the discovery phase is complete, mediation may occur. The mediation process involves a third party attempting to resolve the case before it goes to trial. The mediator speaks with both sides to conduct negotiations in an attempt to reach a settlement that each party is satisfied with. This is the time during the process when many cases are settled. Reaching a settlement during mediation is the final chance you have to avoid going to trial.

Possible Trial and Appeal

If the settlement offer wasn't accepted or the defendant never made an offer, it's likely that your case will go to trial. During this process, a judge or jury will hear arguments from both parties, evaluate all of the facts, attempt to determine fault, and eventually reach a conclusion. Our lawyers have extensive experience in trial cases, and this experience allows us to effectively represent all of our clients. In the event that you win the case, you could receive a certain amount of damages that will compensate you for your injuries. This compensation may cover your medical bills, your emotional pain and suffering, and your lost wages. If you lose the case, you will have a short period of time following the verdict to file an appeal, which can also be handled by our lawyers. If you believe that filing a personal injury lawsuit would be in your best interests, call our Allentown car accident lawyer today at (610) 435-7400 if you're in the Lehigh Valley to learn more about your legal options.

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