After the initial rounds of negotiations had failed, the initial pleadings for the Charleston workers’ compensation case were to follow. Fortunately, the opposing parties involved were willing to revisit the failed negotiations and the victim involved in the accident was able to make a recovery and reach a favorable settlement amount. This would likely have been much more challenging for the victim had they not elected to work with a team of attorneys with workers’ compensation casework experience.
If you were recently harmed within the scope of your employment, a team of attorneys stands ready to help you made a favorable recovery and hold negligent parties accountable.
Preparing for Trial After Failed Initial Negotiations
This particular case settled, but if we did follow through with the next step, we would have prepared a set of jury charges. This involves asking the judge to instruct the jury on the applicable laws with regard to liability and damages in the case. We would have also prepared outlines for direct examination of all witnesses, cross-examination of the defense witnesses, lay witnesses, and expert witnesses.
We would have presented our exhibits of the case evidence, the different items of evidence that we thought were relevant to both liability and damages with the hopes that we could present them to a jury to showcase the evidence in a way that is favorable to our client.
We also would have taken a video deposition for submission at trial with some lay witnesses and/or experts. In most instances, we would have subpoenaed both the lay witnesses and the expert witnesses to trial so that we could perform direct and/or cross-examinations on them to help prove our claim of the case. We would spend significant time drafting and engaging in the opening and closing arguments. We might also perform a motion in limine to try to exclude evidence or to get early rulings on evidence to make sure we were able to show evidence that would help prove the case. Going to trial is a huge undertaking, and there would be a lot of preparation that would occur.
In our client’s case there was no risk for a counter-suit. There is always a slight chance that the other driver could claim that our client was actually at fault for the accident, but in our case, this was not supported by the evidence and was not alleged by the defendant. There were defenses that our client may have had contributory negligence, and these defenses could be used to try to bring down what the defense would have to pay in the case.
The Discovery Process
As part of the discovery process, we filed interrogatories, which are written questions to the defendant seeking answers regarding the liability and damages of the case. We also did a request for production, which was quite voluminous because the other vehicle involved was a tractor-trailer. We were looking for all types of documentation about a black box that may have been on the truck-trailer, the log records for the driver to make sure they were compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier laws, maintenance records to make sure that there was nothing faulty in the maintenance of the vehicle, etc. We produced documents, photographs of the accident scene, photographs of the vehicles involved in the accident, and so forth.
Some of the documents were produced by the client. This included medical bills and records. Other documents, like the tax record, came from the client’s tax adviser, their accountant. We were able to assist the client in developing and gathering all of the documents that were needed and transferring them to defense.
Learn More About Initial Pleadings in the Charleston Workers’ Compensation Case
During the initial pleading for the Charleston workers’ compensation case, our law firm was able to gather evidence and prepare for trial after initial negotiations had failed. Fortunately, we did not have to proceed with a trial because of a second attempt at mediation. The victim of the case was able to make a sizeable recovery and return to life.
If you have been injured in a similar manner, you should reach out to a lawyer who could help by gathering evidence, conducting the discovery process, and negotiating with opposing insurance adjusters on your behalf. Reach out to an attorney today.