When you go to court for a car accident, each side (you and the other party) will have the opportunity to present its evidence and argue its point. Either a judge or a jury will weigh the evidence and make a final determination on your claim. Before your case goes to court, each side may:
- Gather evidence
- Request written interrogatories
- Conduct live depositions
During this discovery process, representatives for you (the plaintiff) and the at-fault driver (the defendant) have the opportunity to learn more about the cause, consequence, and financial damage of the accident.
Your legal team may take time to explain the details about what happens when you go to court for a car accident. If you are considering resolving your car accident case in court, a lawyer may be able to help by ensuring your lawsuit is filed on time.
Do Not Lose Your Ability to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The process of filing a court case is complex and time sensitive. Filing a personal injury lawsuit means preparing files and submitting your potential suit for court consideration. While the court allows you to file a lawsuit that may hold an at-fault driver financially responsible for his negligent actions, it limits the time you have to do so.
You generally have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, according to California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) §335.1. If you do not file your lawsuit within the allotted two-year time period, you might inadvertently relinquish your right to financial compensation. With enough notice, your legal team might be able to ensure your claim complies with the state’s time restriction. By getting your legal team involved in your case early, you may avoid losing your right to financial recovery.
Evidence You Might Present in a Court Case
If your car accident claim goes to court, your lawyer may present a collection of evidence to attempt to prove your right to compensation. The evidence file that your lawyer builds for you might contain your:
- Crash report
- Injury photos
- EMT reports
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Witness statements
- Visual evidence
- Supportive testimonies
Your car accident legal team can fight hard in court to try to prove that you are entitled to financial compensation if the accident you were involved in was caused by negligence. Your lawyer may also try to resolve your case by negotiating for a financial settlement.
A Settlement Agreement Can Be Reached at Any Time
Your car accident claim might go to court if a financial settlement cannot be reached. Your lawyer may review settlement offers and present them to you until your case is decided in a courtroom by a judge or jury.
When you accept a settlement offer, you will permanently resolve your case, release the defendant from any further financial liability, and receive the monetary award dictated by the settlement agreement. An inaccurate evaluation could mean you receive an inadequate settlement. Be sure to work with your lawyer to assign an accurate value to your compensation claim.
You May Be Able to Recover These Damages
Your legal team can use the economic and non-economic damages outlined in California Civil Code (CIV) §1431.2 to define the type and amounts of financial damages you may be entitled to. The potentially recoverable damages in a car accident case may include:
- Medical expenses to date
- Upcoming medical expenses
- Lost income to date
- Upcoming loss of income
- Property damage or destruction
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional angst
Your lawyer may help you create a list of your injury-related financial expenses and losses. They may also request the documents that prove the financial consequences of the accident and your right to negligence-based financial compensation. Your attorney may ultimately help ensure that your compensation claim is not undervalued or underpaid.
Let Our Team Help You Fight for Financial Recovery
When you are injured in a car accident in Los Angeles, your case might go to court as part of your pursuit of financial recovery. If your claim cannot be resolved with a financial settlement, a lawyer may explain what happens when you go to court for a car accident. When you are ready to seek financial compensation from the at-fault driver, contact Jacoby & Meyers Law Offices by calling (866) 559-7223.