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What Happens When a Car Accident Goes to Trial?

Each case is unique. However, if your St. Louis car accident case goes to trial, here’s what you can generally expect.

gavel next to car accident case trail documents

While it’s generally a car-injury victim’s goal to settle their case without going to trial, there are situations where your case might still end up going to trial. For example, your case might go to trial if:

  • The insurance company denies your claim
  • You’re unable to reach a settlement with the other driver
  • The other driver is uninsured or underinsured
  • Your case involves a hit and run
  • Your case is too complicated

Each case is unique. However, if your car accident case goes to trial, here’s what you can generally expect.

Jury Selection

The first step in a trial is jury selection. During this process, both the plaintiff and the defendant will have an opportunity to strike potential jurors from the panel if they believe those jurors would not be impartial. Once jury selection is complete, the remaining jurors will be sworn in, and the trial will begin.

Opening Statements

After the jury has been selected, both the plaintiff and the defendant will give an opening statement. The purpose of an opening statement is to give the jury a brief overview of the case and what each side plans to prove. 

Presentation of Evidence and Witnesses 

The next step is the presentation of evidence and witnesses. The plaintiff will go first, followed by the defendant. The plaintiff’s side will present its evidence and call witnesses to testify. Their goal is to prove that the defendant was at fault for causing the accident and that the plaintiff was injured as a result. 

The defendant’s side will then have an opportunity to present its own evidence and call witnesses. Their goal is to prove that the defendant was not at fault for the accident or that the plaintiff was not injured. 

Closing Arguments 

After all the evidence has been presented, each side will give a closing argument. A closing argument is an opportunity for each attorney to summarize their case and refute any points made by opposing counsel. 

Jury Deliberation 

Once closing arguments have been made, it’ll be time for jury deliberation. During this phase, the jury will retire to a room where they’ll discuss the case amongst themselves and determine whether or not they believe the plaintiff has proven their case against the defendant. 

The Jury’s Verdict 

Once jury deliberations have concluded, the jury will return with their verdict. If they side with the plaintiff, they’ll award damages accordingly. If they side with the defendant, no damages will be awarded, and the case will be dismissed. 

No one knows for sure whether their car injury case will go to trial or not – but if it does, it’s important to be prepared for what lies ahead and discuss it with an experienced attorney.

Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Have you been injured in a St. Louis car accident? Don’t go through the process alone. At The Hoffman Law Firm, our St. Louis car accident lawyers have 25 years of experience handling car injury claims and a proven track record of success. Give us a call 24/7 for a free case evaluation.


Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

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Updated: December 5, 2022