Got a Small Case? A Small Trial May be the Answer
California now offers a new type of 1 day trial for smaller cases. California’s Expedited Trials Act is modeled on programs that have been used with great success in South Carolina and elsewhere. Expedited trials, which last no more than 1 day, are expected to lower the cost of bringing cases to trial and open the courtroom doors for more accident victims to get the justice they deserve.
For years, the insurance industry has punished accident victims who do not accept low ball settlement offers by forcing them to spend huge amounts of time and money fighting their claims in court. The big insurance companies have very deep pockets and frequently spend tens of thousands of dollars to defeat injury claims in court. They will spend more money fighting your claim than paying you what you deserve because they know doing so will deter other accident victims from seeking the justice they deserve. However, not all injury cases justify spending tens of thousands of dollars for court costs, expert witness fees, and other trial related costs. For cases with a value of $25,000 to $30,000, an expedited trial makes economic sense.
Here’s how they work: Both sides must agree to an expedited trial. Each side is limited to 3 hours to present their case. The jury consists of 8 members, instead of 12, and only 6 of the 8 must agree on the verdict. The jury’s verdict is final and binding and your right to appeal is limited. For the right client, with the right type of case, expedited trials will offer a fast and economical option for having your day in court!
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