Denlea & Carton


January 18, 2023

What Happens In Court After a Car Accident?

Understanding the Court Process for an Auto Accident Claim

While the vast majority of car accident cases never make it to trial, some still do. It is critical to have an attorney who has extensive experience litigating cases and taking them to verdict. Generally, the car accident claims that go to court are the ones that cannot be settled due to their complexity.

At Denlea & Carton, we are dedicated, compassionate trial attorneys that have recovered over $100 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients. We provide representation for car accident victims throughout Westchester County, NY, and will not hesitate to take your case to court to get the results you deserve.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a car accident, contact our office at (914) 368-7168 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

What Happens in Court for a Car Accident?

For most people, the thought of going to court for a car accident is stressful and overwhelming. However, with the help of an attorney, it does not have to be. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, guiding you through the legal process.

The court process for a car accident claim includes:

  • Filing of the complaint. A lawsuit is started with the filing of a Summons and Complaint. A complaint is a legal document that details the reasons for the lawsuit. A lawyer can prepare and file the documents on your behalf. The defendant (the party that you are suing) is then served.
  • Discovery phase. After filing the complaint the case goes into the discovery phase. During discovery, both parties exchange information. There may be depositions, subpoenas, and other requests made by either party.
  • Pre-trial preparation. Prior to trial, there will be an independent investigation conducted on your case. Throughout this time, your attorneys will be continuing to build your case. There may also be a series of pre-trial motionsconferences, and other proceedings. If it seems likely that a resolution can be reached without going to trial, you may go through mediation to achieve a fair settlement.
  • Jury selection. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will be set for trial. The trial begins with jury selection. The lawyers will ask potential jury members a series of questions to determine if they would be too biased to sit on the jury.
  • Trial begins. Once a jury is selected, the trial begins with opening statements. Following opening statements, each side is able to present its case by calling witnesses and experts to the stand. After each side has presented its case, closing arguments conclude the trial, and the jury is sent for deliberation.
  • Verdict rendered. Once the jury has reached a decision they will render a verdict. If you disagree with the verdict, you generally have the right to appeal.

It is important to remember that most car accident claims never go to court. Second, even if your case does go to court it may still settle at any time prior to a verdict being rendered.

Will My Car Accident Case Go to Trial?

After an accident, a claim is generally filed with the insurance company. Many times, with the help of an attorney, a fair and full settlement can be negotiated. However, in some cases, a settlement cannot be reached. In those cases, the matter may be set for trial.

Car accident cases that are complex or have a question of liability are more likely to go to court than ones that are more straightforward. You should always discuss your claim with an attorney to determine all of your legal options.

Injured in a Car Wreck? Contact Denlea & Carton.

Were you hurt in a car accident in Westchester County? Contact our office at (914) 368-7168 to request a free consultation. There are no fees unless we win. Call now to speak directly with a member of our legal team.


James R. Denlea

Jeffrey I. Carton

Robert J. Berg

Lindsey Leibowitz

Amber Wallace

John Leifert

Craig Cepler

Steven Schoenfeld

Stan Sharovskiy

Phil Smith

Martin McCann

Catherine Friesen

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