Aurora Car Accident Litigation
Deciding whether to settle or pursue a car accident can be a difficult decision. However, there are benefits to pursuing litigation. If you are interested in pursuing Aurora car accident litigation, consult a knowledgeable car accident lawyer that could devote the time and resources necessary to build your case.
Process of Litigating a Case
After a person files the complaint and initiates Aurora car accident litigation, they will go through a series of conferences with the opposing attorney, the defense counsel usually, and then they have a conference with the judge, a case management conference, where they will set all of the deadlines for the case that will have different ramifications on the outcome of the case. They will set a trial date and that will be determinative of what other dates they have.
There are requests for production, which are a list of statements that the person is asking the opposing party to provide, it is perhaps copies of documents. If it is a black box recording in a trucking case, they have to make that available for inspection, and then there are requests for admission where they ask the other party to admit to certain facts within the case just to establish those for when they ultimately do proceed to trial, they do not have to deal with those facts. If they have been admitted, they become binding upon that party. They do not have to try to establish so many facts in trial.
Usually, after they have done the written discovery, then come depositions, which is testimony under oath in a more relaxed setting than a courtroom. It is the attorneys on the case, a court reporter, and whoever the deponent is on that date just giving their testimony so that they know how they are going to testify at trial as far as what they are going to say and how they appear so there are no surprises.
If a person wants to file any motions for summary judgment or motions to exclude evidence, those dates are set a certain number of days before trial so if they have any motions to exclude evidence, that is usually due 35 days before trial and after they have these conferences and they set the trial date, they then go through the discovery process, which is where both sides try to find out as much about the other party’s side as possible through written discovery, which consists of interrogatories that are written questions that must be answered under oath.
Following depositions, the plaintiff and defendant will go through a mediation, which is where a neutral third party, usually a former judge or a former attorney that has handled motor vehicle collisions or premises liability cases, will sit down with the parties and try to negotiate a resolution to save the parties the cost and time of proceeding to trial. If it is unsuccessful there, they will then usually have some status or pretrial conference with a judge where they set deadlines for jury instructions, trail briefs, any exhibit notebooks, and things of that nature that assist the jury in trial. Then once they get to the courthouse on the day of trial, barring any potential resolution on the doorsteps of the court, that is when the case will proceed to trial.
Duration of Litigation
As far as the litigation process from the point of filing a complaint to the point of concluding a trial, Colorado/Aurora law now mandates that cases be resolved within a year of the date of the filing of the complaint. The actual trial portion of that varies. The shortest is going to be a three-day trial. Factors that can influence the duration of Aurora car accident litigation are, the number of experts are needed on a case, the amount of damages that an individual has sustained, the number of witnesses an attorney chooses to present, and the number of plaintiffs and defendants in a case.
Amount of Damages
The second factor in determining the duration of litigation is the amount of damages that the client has sustained. Usually if it is a higher-damage case, it takes a little bit longer to go through what the client’s treatment has been, their history following the collision, how it has impacted their life because, for instance, a person that has fractured their back and now has a life-lifting restriction is going to take a lot longer to present testimony as opposed to somebody who had a back injury that lasted for approximately two or three months but they resolved it. If that case goes to trial, it is a briefer presentation of evidence than having to present the evidence showing that this person who has a back fracture and cannot have surgery is now permanently impaired for their life.
Number of Witnesses
As mentioned previously, a third factor in the length of the case is the number of witnesses that the attorney chooses to present to establish their case. A lot of that is for the non-economic damages portion. The attorney should aim to present testimony as to the plaintiff’s pain and suffering, their inconvenience, and the emotional stress they have been through so it is good to have a lot of witnesses such as friends, family, and coworkers to establish that.
Number of Plaintiffs and Defendants
One of the last factors in determining the duration of Aurora car accident litigation is the number of plaintiffs or defendants in a case. Sometimes, there may be four people in a car that were all injured and that is going to be a lot longer trial because they have to establish each of the four plaintiff’s damages and give the defense an opportunity to present a case-in-chief against each of the four defendants. They have to establish all of that versus if you have a one-plaintiff case, that is going to go a lot quicker.