YEARS OF INJURY
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If you choose to go to trial, and your case is not eligible for arbitration, the process will begin with the filing of a lawsuit, followed by a discovery process, and ultimately, a trial date. Moreover, if your case goes to arbitration and one of the party’s appeals, the case will go to trial.
This page is meant to help you understand both the risks and benefits of taking a case to trial.
Trials are High Risk and High Reward
We make sure to advise our clients that taking a case to trial is a high-risk and high-reward proposition.
Every case is different. That’s why we take pride in properly evaluating each case and offering counsel as to the best way to proceed: arbitration, trial, mediation, or settlement.
Before we make a recommendation, we typically round table your case with four of our top-flight attorneys and a medical doctor, examining the facts and weighing the costs and benefits of taking the case to trial.
Ultimately, though, it’s your decision whether to take a settlement offer or take the case to trial.
Before you go to trial, remember that nothing is guaranteed. We have a strong track record of winning verdicts, but we cannot guarantee success because there are so many factors that can influence how a jury decides your case. Trials are ultimately very unpredictable, which is why both sides are incentivized to reach a fair settlement first.
Of course, it goes without saying that sometimes the best way to settle a case is to prepare for trial. The prospect of a pending trial often encourages the defendant to put a fair settlement offer on the table.
One of the first steps in the trial is the voir dire, or jury questioning, process. If you’ve ever been called to jury duty, you have some sense of how this process works.
The attorneys for both parties have the right to ask questions of potential jurors. We ask questions to try to determine whether a potential juror may have a bias against our client, or a negative predisposition against the arguments we intend to present.
There are three important things to remember about this process:
- Our Time is Limited: We only get about an hour to question potential jurors. We can’t anticipate or ask about every possible issue, so our information will be limited when determining which jurors we want to remove from the case.
- Three Strikes: Out of around 20 potential jury members, we are only allowed to remove three from the pool. This means that if there are five jurors we believe may have beliefs that make them less likely to give us the award we deserve, we can, at best, only remove three of them from the case.
- The Defense Removes the Best Jurors: The defense attorney is also entitled to strike three jurors from the pool. This means that the jurors most receptive to our arguments will be removed.
The result of these factors is that trials can be somewhat unpredictable. At the end of the day, we do the best we can to remove jurors with beliefs that make them less likely to give you the award you deserve. However, our information is limited, and we can only remove three jurors from the pool.
Another important thing to understand about trials is how they are scheduled. When we file a lawsuit, we are given a schedule for the entire process, with deadlines for submitting key documents as well as a trial date.
However – that date is usually several months or even a year in the future, and will almost certainly change by the time we get to trial.
When we finally do get to trial, it is important to remember that courtrooms are intentionally overbooked. That is, up to four other trials will be scheduled for the same date and courtroom as your case. The court system does this on purpose because the vast majority of cases settle long before they go to trial.
However, that means when we show up for our trial, we may have to wait several hours, or perhaps even a day or two, before it is our turn. Additionally, if someone else has been waiting much longer, we may get bumped from our courtroom and moved somewhere else.
The nature of scheduling can create three problems.
First, if you need to take time off of work for the trial, you will not necessarily know exactly how many and which days you need to take off.
Second, if your employer, friends, or other witnesses are testifying at the trial, you will want to be respectful of their time. If the trial is delayed, you may be asking a friend or witness to take a different day off work, and this may or may not be possible with their schedule.
Third, experts who we hire to provide testimony may have limited availability. For instance, we may think that they will testify in the afternoon on the first day of the trial, but if we are bumped, or the jury selection process takes all day, we may have to move their testimony into the next day. Unfortunately, they may not be available that day and rescheduling can be difficult.
Court Costs and Fees
Taking a case to trial necessarily entails certain costs. For instance, we need to pay the court filing fees when we submit a lawsuit or other documents.
Moreover, for a trial we will likely hire experts to help bolster your case. This may include the following:
- Medical Experts: These will testify as to whether your injuries could have been caused by the accident
- Economists: These experts can speak to wage losses resulting from your injuries
- Your Doctor: We may ask your doctor or treating provider(s) to testify that you are disabled and unable to work, as well as to confirm the extent of your injuries
- Simulation / Video Experts: We work with OnPoint Productions and other companies to create video simulations of your accident, as well as day-in-the-life videos to show the jury how your injuries impact your daily activities.
- Accident Reconstruction Experts: We may hire accident reconstruction experts to analyze your case. Some of the folks we have worked with in the past include David Thornburg of Thorn Consulting Services, Chuck Lewis of Tech Recon Inc., Steve Harbinson of J Cameron Investigations, LLC, and Bryan Jorgenson, an expert in accident reconstruction based in Seattle.
These experts charge for their time and their fees will be deducted from the award you win at trial. This is an important cost to remember.
Verdicts: Liability vs. Damages
When the jury deliberates, they have to deal with two separate questions.
First, they have to determine liability. In other words, is the defendant responsible for your injuries?
In a car accident case, for instance, this means determining who was at fault in causing the accident. In a medical malpractice, this means determining whether the doctor failed to follow the established standard of care in the course of your treatment.
Second, the jury has to determine damages. This means that once they’ve decided the defendant is liable, they have to agree on how much money the defendant should pay.
On both of these questions, ten of the twelve jurors have to agree in order to make a decision. That means if three jurors feel that the defendant is not liable, or feel that the damages should be lower, they can prevent the verdict we are hoping for. This is one of the reasons that trials can be very unpredictable.
Trials are unpredictable. On the one hand, taking a case all the way to trial can result in a very high-value verdict. On the other hand, there is a risk that the jury does not see things your way, and you could be left with nothing.
We will stand with you throughout your case, and fight for the maximum recovery possible under the law. If you take your case to trial, we will be right beside you.
Did a great job in handling my case. Quick and professional. Communicated with me every step of the way and the end result was more than expected. I highly reccomend and am forever grateful.
Gracias por su amable atencion estoy muy satisfecha con los servicios de ustedes los recomiendo estube en las mejores manos muchas gracias ppr preucuparce de mi y de mi hija lucharon por lo justo gracias avogados por luchar por los derechos de las personas
Very thankful to Park Chenaur for handling my case quickly and efficiently. Very compassionate team. They make sure you are comfortable and educated in your options and work hard to get you the results you deserve. My case manager Mitchel was great and helped me really understand my options and each step of the process.
I was 8n a car accident in January of 2017. The first call I made was to these guys… they where awsome Lola came to my house and got started right away. They maintained contact with me and kept me informed via email and phone.. I received the medical care I needed and they fought to get that reimbursement. . And after everything I feel I got a fair deal. I highly recommend them. Also liandra is very kind and helpful…Thank you guys so much
My boyfriend and i worked with Mr. Pustzai on a car accident case. Working with him and his team was nothing short of amazing. They were there for us every step of the way, from the incident until the final court days and beyond that. I have always been able to reach out to Vita and Mr.Pustzai with any questions and get a quick response. They show empathy and are personable as well as very professional! Thank you so much for your work.
Mr. Park was understanding, extraordinarily competent, and hard working. His advice and guidance every step of the way was invaluable and extremely helpful. He was always very easy to reach by phone or email, kept me updated on all aspects of the case and succeeded in getting me a fair and generous settlement.
When you talk with them they are able to walk you through your case step-by-step, and they are able to make you understand each and every aspect of your case.
They handled my case very professionally. They were always very helpful, always available, very kind and great to work with. I felt like I was treated like family.
They just made me feel really secure that they were going to do their best and they were going to fight for me. It just felt nice to have someone care enough to want to do that for us.
My wife and son were in a collision in February, Mitchell was amazing. He made our family feel very cared for and took care of everything for us. A very competent and professional person. If I ever have any issues again I know the first place I’m going. Thanks Mitchell
My case recently closed and I am glad to have worked with Mitchel Pinedo during the entire process. I did not know how to deal with this situation as I had never been in a car accident before. I was not well health wise and neither was my mother. I lost my car as it was totaled and I was not at fault. Mitchel handled the case and exceeded all expectations. He kept me updated and answered all of my questions. Mitchel is very professional and was always punctual to our meetings. I highly recommend you to see Mitchel if you are in need of a great lawyer.
I first worked with Kimberly Yoon about 10 years ago for an auto accident case. Though I had no knowledge of legal procedures, she was so patient and sincerely empathetic. So when I was involved in another auto accident, I knew she was the best person to call. Her level of experience and client care exceeded my expectations. Her assistant, Michael, is just as caring and quick to follow up as she is. Thank you very much for eliminating much of the stress that follows an accident and ensuring that your client gets the best care!
Park Chenaur is the best! I’ve been referring people to Kimberly Yoon for the last three years because she’s amazing! She works hard to get you the best possible outcome for your case and really makes you feel great as a client. My mom was in a auto accident last year and Kimberly was able to get her well above what we were expecting. Thanks again Kim & Park Chenaur!
My mother and I worked with Mitchel Pinedo after our car accident and all I can say is he’s truly wonderful. He made the entire process easy to understand and was extremely helpful. It was our first time seeking out a lawyer and having him help us from start to finish made the whole experience much better and stress free.
I have had a positive experience and will continue to recommended to friends and family. I could not have asked for a better firm or attorney for not one but several cases. Park Chenaur & Associates are honest, courteous, friendly, knowledgeable, and have been very important and good to me for several years. I highly recommend!
Very happy with the end result. Never thought I would get a million. Great friendly hard working people. Thanks again.