When it comes to the trial process for Charleston car accident cases, victims need to be aware of a number of issues, risks, and potential outcomes. First and foremost is that these cases take time and dedication. Because of this, it is vital that you choose your representation with every bit of scrutiny you are able to. With the right attorney, you could address any potential pitfalls, issues, and rest easy knowing someone is working to get you the compensation you need.
The Charleston Trial Process for Car Accident Cases
The trial process for a car accident case in Charleston, once someone files the lawsuit, starts with the discovery period in which there is both written discovery, depositions, and subpoenas that may be issued to gather documents. That discovery period typically lasts at least a year. Fortunately, this does not mean an individual has to be doing everything, but it does mean that there is an extensive waiting period. In many cases, an aggressive timeline is set to try to get the discovery done in the first 60 or 90 days.
However, cases are not going to go onto the trial docket for a year. When they go onto the trial docket, one is just in line behind everybody else that filed a lawsuit before a victim’s attorney did. There could be hundreds of people on a trial docket waiting for their cases to be heard. If one of those cases settles, the individual moves up in that line. If one of the cases gets dismissed, they move up. If somebody decides they do not want to pursue their case anymore, they move up.
Over that period of time, it could be six months. It could be longer or it could be shorter. Somewhere in that six-month period, typically an individual is going to get high enough on the roster so that the case would resolve, because they are coming close to trial and the defense focuses and gets more serious about it, or the case is going to settle. Ultimately, they make it to trial.
What Happens at the Trial
When they go to trial, attorneys present all of the testimony, the witnesses, and the other evidence that they have on the case, and then the case is resolved. If the case is resolved and neither party wants to appeal the case, then that is the end of it. The jury makes their decision and the payout would occur typically from the defendant’s insurance company. If somebody is upset with the decision, perhaps because they think there was an error made in admitting or keeping evidence out by the judge, there could be an appeal that follows.
If the appeal follows, it is probably going to take a year or two to go through that appellate process. That does happen, but it is not something routinely done. If an individual goes there and gets a big result against the defendant, the defendants are likely going to appeal if they think something was done wrong by the judge in the trial. If an individual goes and gets a bad result as a plaintiff, and bad results happen to both sides all the time, and they think it is based in part upon the judge making an error during the trial, the plaintiff could appeal the case as well. An example would be admitting some evidence that the individual thinks they should not have or keeping some evidence out that the individual thinks should have come in. It is fact-specific, and done on a case-by-case analysis.
Important Elements Litigators Focus on for Charleston Car Wreck Cases
Some important elements in a car accident case that litigators would always focus on are duty breach, causation, and damages. Tort is defined as a civil wrong. It boils down, in most cases, to duty breach, causation, and damages. What that means is for somebody to bring a case against a wrongdoer, victims have to establish that there was a duty owed to them by the defendant. They have to establish that the defendant did something they were not supposed to do or failed to do something that they should have done. They have to establish that that breach of that duty caused their damages. Then, they have to establish without speculation what those damages are. If they are able to prove those four elements, they would likely be successful in bringing a civil action against the defendant, their insurance company, and in the Charleston car accident trial process as a whole.
Speak to a Representative About the Charleston Car Accident Process
If you need help understanding or would like someone to litigate the Charleston car accident trial process for you, then you need to speak to a dedicated civil attorney. No one deserves to suffer the aftermath of a negligent accident. Choose to work with an attorney who could place your interests at the forefront of a civil claim while holding negligent parties accountable. Reach out to an attorney today.