When Does a Car Accident Case Go to Trial?

The majority of claims related to Kansas City car accident injuries are resolved without it becoming necessary to file a lawsuit. Even if a lawsuit is filed, most end in settlement agreements before the case goes to trial if your attorney and the insurance company involved can agree on a fair amount to compensate you for your injuries. This means it’s unlikely your case will end up before a judge or jury, but it’s also true that not all cases settle. Your car accident claim may need to go to trial in situations where:

  • Your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement, 
  • The parties involved cannot agree on how the accident occurred or who was at fault, and
  • The insurance company won’t pay more money to cover your damages even after negotiating with your Los Angeles car accident attorney.

Remember that insurance companies want to minimize the amount, if any, they pay for claims. As a for-profit business, they’re just concerned with the bottom line. If they act unreasonably, deny your claim, or try to low-ball you and avoid paying the full value of your claim, a trial may be advisable. 

Jury Trials vs. Bench Trials

If you file a civil lawsuit to recover for your Kansas City car accident injuries, you have a right to a jury trial. The jury is the official factfinder at trial, which means if you and the other party can’t agree on how the accident happened or how badly you’re hurt, the jury will examine the presented evidence and make a decision about whose version it believes is accurate. If you elect to exercise your right to a jury trial, the jury will listen to both you and the defendant present evidence and arguments as to why your version of events is correct before it decides who’s at fault for the accident and the amount of compensation, if any, you receive. 

A car accident case can also be decided without a jury. The judge can preside over the trial of your case in a bench trial, serving as factfinder and making decisions about fault and damage awards. Both you and the defendant must agree to waive exercising your right to a jury trial. The decision to waive a jury trial can have strategic benefits and disadvantages, so it’s an issue you and your attorney should discuss and decide together. 

Talk to a Kansas City, MO Car Accident Attorney

The highly skilled Kansas City Car Accident Attorneys at Krause & Kinsman can answer your questions and build the strongest case possible whether you go to trial or settle before. We have extensive experience dealing with winning car accident cases and maximizing payouts. Call us at (816) 307-2352 or contact us online to schedule your initial free consultation today. 

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While this website provides general information, it does not constitute legal advice. The best way to get guidance on your specific legal issue is to contact a lawyer. To schedule a meeting with an attorney, please call or complete the intake form below.