What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you have suffered harm from an accident or injury and someone else might be legally responsible for what happened, then you can formalize a personal injury case through civil court proceedings.
There are generally two types of personal injury cases, and these include a formal lawsuit and an informal settlement. In an informal lawsuit, the case will typically begin when the plaintiff (the injured party) files a civil complaint against the other person alleging that the accident or injury was caused due to their negligence or irresponsibility.
An informal settlement is usually between those that are personally involved in the dispute including the injured party, the insurance companies for both sides and their attorneys. Settlements often occur in the form of negotiation so that the matter can be solved through payment rather than going to court for the judge to make a
What Happens When the Case Goes to Trial?
If the personal injury case ends up going to trial, then the plaintiff will be awarded the opportunity to argue their case so that the judge can review all the information and evidence and make a decision. However, only about four to five percent of personal injury cases will usually make it to trial. The other percentage often settles out of court.
One of the best things you can do when you find out that your case will be going to trial is to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney to help walk you through the process from beginning to end and provide you with a better chance when it comes to navigating the process and receiving fair compensation.
The Role of the Judge in a Personal Injury Case
In a personal injury case in which there is a judge and no jury, the judge will be the one to determine questions of the law as well as the questions of fact involved in the case. They will determine if there are any issues with either side of the case and allegations and they will be able to knowledgeably determine which laws are applicable to the case.
The judge will look at all the evidence as well as the credibility of any witnesses that are involved and will then hear both sides and make a determination or ruling after deliberating.
Ultimately, in a personal injury case that has gone to trial without a jury, the judge is the one that makes the final decision regarding the damages being sought by the plaintiff.