Charleston Workers’ Compensation Trials

When a case is not able to reach a settlement, a lawsuit may be filed and a trial will follow. It is important to understand that a settlement can be reached outside of court. If you or a loved one were injured while a work, you should reach out to a seasoned lawyer who is experienced with Charleston workers’ compensation trials. Contact an accomplished attorney today.

Documents Filed Before Trial

In this case, Motions in Limine were filed on behalf of the injured individual. These try to get pre-rulings on evidentiary matters in the case – evidence that a lawyer wants to use or evidence that a lawyer wants to block from the other side. Also, there was a motion for summary judgment that is filed by the defendants. That is their attempt to say that some portion of the case – whether it be on liability, or damages, or both – need to be dismissed and that there was not an issue of material fact that the jury needs to decide in the case.

In this case, the lawyer had to write a response brief to the motion for summary judgment and go to a hearing to have the decision made by the court, whether or not the case needed to be dismissed based upon the defendant’s summary judgment motion. The reply to that motion and the oral argument saying that there were material issues is a fact for the jury to determine on all relevant issues in the case was successful. The case proceeded past the motions practice stage where the defense was trying to get portions of the case dismissed.

Trial Strategies

Many strategies were considered on behalf of the client in preparation of trial. In any case, there is an inherent jury bias against plaintiffs and personal injury cases that is well-documented into literature and research over the last 30 or 40 years. The lawyer will look at the jury verdict and the jury instructions.

The attorney will begin by looking at those so that they can then begin to take the facts and the testimony of the case and mold them to the law to make sure that they are able to prove every element that is necessary to meet their burden of proof. They also want to convince the jury that it is a meaningful case that is worthy of a large amount of money to compensate for the injuries, lost wages, and medical bills for the client.

A lawyer will also perform jury verdict research to find similar cases with similar fact patterns to get an idea of what type of verdicts juries had given in different jurisdictions around the southeast. Now, while no two juries are the same–they are different 12 men and women in every case–it is factually different to some extent. It is a way of trying to get an idea of what might happen as an outcome of the case to help successfully gauge and predict the value that a lawyer may think the case is worth for settlement but also in what the lawyer is asking the jury to award in the trial.

Paperwork Received From the Defendant Prior to Trial

The lawyer receives interrogatories and requests for production. In this case, there were several rounds of subpoenas that went out to different medical providers for a client.

The jury needed to understand the significance of the client’s injuries, such as the blood, the swelling, the bruising, and other things that showed that there was real injury as a result of the accident. There was an exchange of exhibits, such as the witness list and all the materials that were requested from the defense in discovery all the way from photographs of the accident, to driving history of the defendant, to the credentials for all of the experts that the defense intended to call in the case as well as deposition transcripts from all the testimonies.

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