How Long Does it Take for My Car Accident Case to go to Trial?

When it comes to the legal process surrounding car accident lawsuits, navigating through the complexities of a trial can be both overwhelming and confusing. At SHElaw firm®, our Decatur car accident lawyers specialize in providing you with the information you need to understand the various stages of a car accident lawsuit trial. In this comprehensive guide, our auto accident attorneys will walk you through the key steps, from the initial filing to the final verdict of your car accident case.

A car accident lawsuit trial is a multi-step process that involves several stages before reaching a resolution. If you or someone you love have been injured in an automobile accident of any kind, contact our office today to schedule a risk-free case review with our skilled injury attorneys near you.

Less than 5% of Car Accident Cases Go to Trial

The percentage of car accident cases that go to trial can vary widely based on several factors, including jurisdiction, the severity of the accident, the strength of evidence, and the willingness of parties to settle. However, a large majority of car accident cases are actually settled out of court, often through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods. It’s estimated that only a small percentage, typically around 3-4% of car accident cases, end up going to trial. Most cases are resolved through insurance claims, settlements, or other pre-trial agreements. Keep in mind that these percentages can vary based on the specific legal system and region.

Several factors contribute to the low percentage of car accident cases that go to trial:

Expense and Time

Trials can be expensive and time-consuming processes. They require legal fees, court costs, expert witness fees, and more. Additionally, trials can take months or even years to conclude, which can be both financially and emotionally taxing for all parties involved.


Trials come with inherent uncertainty. The outcome is determined by a judge or jury, which can be unpredictable. Parties may choose to settle to avoid the risk of an unfavorable outcome at trial.

Evidence and Liability

In many car accident cases, liability is relatively clear. Evidence such as police reports, eyewitness accounts, and medical records can often establish fault. This clarity can make it more attractive for parties to settle rather than risk a trial.


Insurance companies often play a significant role in car accident cases. They may prefer to settle cases to control costs and avoid the uncertain outcomes of trials. Settlements also allow for more efficient claims processing.

Desire for Closure

Many accident victims and their families prefer to resolve their cases as quickly as possible to achieve closure and move on from the traumatic event. Settling outside of court can provide this closure more expediently.

Court Backlog

Courts are often burdened with a large number of cases, leading to delays in scheduling trials. This backlog can further discourage parties from pursuing a trial.

Legal Advice

Attorneys often provide guidance to their clients about the potential risks and benefits of going to trial. If both parties have competent legal representation, they may be more inclined to reach a settlement that aligns with their interests.


Trials are public proceedings, and the details of the case become a matter of public record. Many parties prefer to keep the details of their accidents and settlements private.

Emotional Toll

Trials can be emotionally draining for all parties involved. Going through a trial may prolong the stress and emotional strain caused by the accident.

For these reasons, most car accident cases are resolved through negotiation, mediation, or settlement, avoiding the need for a trial.

woman taking picture for car accident case

Negotiation and Settlement Attempts

While the goal is to present your case before a judge and jury, settlement negotiations can sometimes be a favorable option. Skilled negotiators, which is a required trait for a successful personal injury attorney, can explore the possibility of reaching a settlement with the opposing party to avoid the uncertainties of trial. Our experienced attorneys excel at negotiating favorable terms while keeping your best interests at heart.

Pre-filing Preparations: Laying the Foundation

Before the actual lawsuit is even filed, extensive groundwork is laid out to build a strong case. This includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with experts to ascertain the details of the accident. Our experienced legal team at SHElaw firm® ensures that every piece of information is meticulously collected to establish the basis for a successful trial.

Filing the Lawsuit: Initiating the Legal Proceedings

Once the necessary evidence has been compiled, the next step involves filing the lawsuit. This formal document outlines the allegations against the opposing party and sets the legal process in motion. Our adept car accident attorneys are skilled at drafting comprehensive and compelling lawsuits that succinctly present your claims.

Discovery Phase: Unveiling the Truth

The discovery phase is a pivotal stage during which both parties exchange relevant information and evidence. This process entails interrogatories, depositions, and document requests. Our legal experts employ strategic tactics to ensure that no stone is left unturned, uncovering crucial evidence that can bolster your case.

Pre-trial Motions: Paving the Way for the Trial

In the pre-trial phase, various motions may be filed by either party to address legal issues that could impact the trial. Motions could include requests for summary judgment or the exclusion of certain evidence. Our skilled car accident attorneys near you craft persuasive motions to strengthen your position and ensure a fair trial.

The Trial: Presenting Your Case

The trial is the culmination of extensive preparations and marks the moment when your case is presented before a judge and potentially a jury. Our adept trial attorneys employ a compelling narrative and leverage compelling evidence to advocate for your rights in the most effective manner.

The Trial Process

The trial itself is a structured procedure that follows a specific sequence of events:

  • Jury Selection: A pool of potential jurors is questioned and selected to form the jury.
  • Opening Statements: Both parties present their case’s overview to the jury.
  • Presentation of Evidence: Witnesses are called, documents are presented, and expert opinions are shared.
  • Cross-Examination: Attorneys question the opposing party’s witnesses.
  • Closing Arguments: Each side summarizes their case and addresses key points.
  • Jury Deliberation: The jury reviews the evidence and reaches a verdict.

Post-Trial Proceedings: Seeking Justice

Once the trial concludes, post-trial proceedings commence. This phase may involve further motions, appeals, or negotiations for a potential settlement. Our Decatur car accident lawyers are committed to pursuing the most favorable outcome for you, whether through a successful appeal or a satisfactory settlement agreement.

Contact SHElaw firm® to Speak with an Exceptional Car Accident Lawyer NOW!

In conclusion, understanding the intricate timeline of a car accident lawsuit trial is paramount when seeking justice after an accident. By partnering with SHElaw firm®, you’re equipping yourself with a dedicated team of legal professionals who are well-versed in the complexities of the legal system, ensuring your rights are protected and your case is presented with the utmost precision. Contact us today to embark on the journey towards justice and the compensation you deserve!