Ways to Resolve your Case
As Fairfield Trial lawyers, we always assume that the way your case is going to resolve is through a jury verdict. We look at your case through that lens from day one and we are always preparing for the ultimate trial. In that way, we have your witnesses identified and the exhibits ready for the jury. In Connecticut, personal injury cases are heard by a jury of six people. The six people start the trial by receiving instructions from the judge. They then listen to the testimony of the witnesses Witnesses can include you, friends and family, maybe your doctor or co-workers. We try to give the jury an understanding of how this injury impacted your life. The judge then gives the jury some further instructions and the jury deliberates. The judge will give the jury unlimited time to reach their unanimous decision.
Although most cases do not actually go to trial, we believe that it is important that the insurance company receive the message loud and clear that if they do not pay you a fair some of money, we will take it to the jury. It is critical that your attorney in your personal injury case is someone who the insurance company knows will try the case. There are lots of lawyers who claim to be trial lawyers who have little or no trial experience. The insurance companies know who those lawyers are. As Fairfield Trial lawyers we are happy to go into detail about the number and the kinds of cases we have tried. We are happy also to go over some of the exclusive organizations we have been invited to join because of our success in the court room.
We also find that by having the reputation of being Fairfield Trial Lawyers, we can settle most of our cases for full value without having to go to verdict. A case can settle at many different points, but you never want to settle a case before knowing what the future holds for you and your injury. Once you settle your case you can never open it again, so you want to be sure that you are satisfied with the amount.
The most common way we settle cases as Fairfield Trial Lawyers is through direct conversation with the insurance company. The case can settle at any point from when your treatment is finished right up until the courthouse steps. If those conversations are getting stuck, we have different tools we can use to move the case along. Mediation, for example, is where both sides select someone, they each believe to be fair who acts as a facilitator to get people talking about the case. The mediator most likely will meet with you during the process to better understand your injury and how it impacts you. The mediator will try to keep both sides talking until the case resolves.
The court has tools it can use as well. One is a pretrial conference. At a pretrial conference, which can be done remotely or at the courthouse, a judge meets with the lawyers in the case and acts as a mediator, trying to keep both sides talking. Depending on the judge, he or she may share with the lawyers what the court’s opinion is of what is a fair settlement value.
Another way to resolve the case is through arbitration. Arbitration is typically binding on the parties. The two sides select a lawyer or a retired judge who they all believe to be fair, and he or she acts like a jury. The arbitrator will conduct a mini trial where there will be witness testimony as well as documentary exhibits. The arbitrator then issues a decision, much like a jury issues a verdict, and that decision is binding on everyone.
At Robinson Mahoney we will advise you on the best way for you to achieve a full and fair settlement of your case. Give us a call.