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Chapter 7: Litigation and Trial

Insurance carriers always hope to hold back some measure of victim compensation during settlement negotiations. While most cases do settle privately, there are some situations where the insurance carriers and victim cannot agree on case value. In these instances, suit must be filed and the case then moves toward a public jury trial.

The North Carolina Civil Practice Act provides the general rules governing the parties in civil litigation. The North Carolina evidence code is the statutory source governing the admissibility of evidence at trial. These statutes and the case law interpreting them are extremely complex, and a thorough discussion of trial practice and strategy is beyond the scope of this work. However, a general understanding of the litigation process is important as you consider whether to settle your claims privatelyor to bring your case forward through trial.

In this chapter, we review the primary legal issues relating to injury trial practice. We also explore the steps involved in filing suit, conducting discovery, presenting evidence, and conducting a jury trial.