Although most motor vehicle accident claims are able to be successfully settled out of court, sometimes all negotiation attempts can fail and the claim must be taken to trial. A trial is a type of civil proceeding where both parties (the plaintiff and defendant) will present evidence to a judge or jury, and a judgement will be given in order to settle the dispute.
During the trial, the plaintiff will have the burden of proving his or her case. This means that the plaintiff will have to prove that the defendant was negligent and the the negligence caused his or her injuries. The plaintiff can do this by testifying his or herself, and/or by supplying witness testimony. The plaintiff can also present medical bills and other records relating to the accident as evidence of the injuries resulting from the accident.
The defendant will have the opportunity to cross-examine the plaintiff and the witnesses and can also object to the introduction of evidence. The judge will make any decisions about what can and cannot be admitted as evidence. The defendant will be able to present any relevant defenses, as well as use any expert witnesses in order to prove that the plaintiff's injuries were not as severe as his or her claims, or that the injuries were not caused by the accident at all.
After each side has presented their cases, they have the opportunity to make closing arguments where they can address the jury directly and sum up their evidence and request a favorable judgement. It will then be up to a jury to work together to reach a decision. Once the court has reached its decision, the judge will order the judgement be entered in the prevailing party's favor, and the clerk of courts will enter it. Either party may appeal if they are unhappy with the verdict. If no appeal is made, the judgement of the trial will remain final. Once the final judgement is entered, neither party can try the case again.