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Car Accidents

We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.

Minneapolis Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents are sudden, traumatic, and can leave those involved with severe injuries and damages that can affect the people involved for months and years in the future. In most cases, a driver’s negligent actions are what cause these collisions to occur. Madia Newville protects those who have been injured because of the negligent actions of another. We can protect your rights and fight for you to get the justice you deserve.

When you’ve been injured in an auto collision, you will likely be dealing with how you’re going to recover, how much the recovery will cost, how soon you’ll have to wait until you can go back to work, the repair costs of your car, and more. Adding a car accident claim to this can be overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. You do not have to go through this process on your own.

With us on your side, you can rest assured that we are going to do everything we can to get you full and fair compensation. This will help you financially recover so you can take your time as you heal physically and emotionally. When we are fighting for you, we’ll seek the total of your economic and noneconomic losses.

Your economic losses are the monetary costs of the accident. We’ll fight for you to recover:

  • Past and Future Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages from Missing Work
  • Property Damage
  • Loss of Earning Capacity

The other aspect of your compensation is the noneconomic losses. These account for the emotional damages you’ve endured because of the crash.

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

We will assess the injuries and losses you’ve suffered. While noneconomic losses do not have a bill or total attached to them, you can still receive compensation for these losses. With us as your Minneapolis car accident lawyer, you take these into account when calculating the compensation you need.

It’s important to reach out as soon as possible because there is a statute of limitations for personal injury. This means that if you try to seek damages after the statute of limitations is up, you will likely not be able to proceed and your case will be dismissed. In Minnesota, you have two years to come forward. While this can seem like a long time, the sooner you start your case, the sooner we can help you resolve the matter.

Minnesota Car Wreck Statistics

While Madia Newville is based in Minneapolis, we defend the rights of all Minnesota residents. You deserve to have someone who will stand up for you when another’s actions have caused you pain and suffering.

Unfortunately, car accidents are a common occurrence in this state and often have devastating consequences. In 2019, there were 80,636 traffic crashes in Minnesota. Of those crashes, there were 364 fatalities, 248 of which were motorists. According to the Office of Traffic Safety, Minnesota traffic fatalities increased by about 4% from 2018 to 2019.

Of the 364 fatalities, many of these accidents happened because of the causes we discussed above.

  • 34 fatalities were related to distracted driving.
  • 89 fatalities occurred because a drunk driver was involved.
  • 75 fatalities happened because of speeding.

The causes of these fatal accidents can also cause injuries. The Minnesota Motor Vehicle Crash Facts 2019 report shows the following:

  • 1,520 serious injuries
  • 9,346 minor injuries
  • 16,394 possible injuries

Negligent driving can occur whenever the driver isn’t being attentive to the task at hand—operating their vehicle the safest way possible. These actions often result in the driver losing control of their vehicle and can cause an accident.

Distracted Driving
Distractions can cause car accidents in a matter of seconds. A distraction is anything that takes the driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off driving. There are so many distractions that can divert a driver’s attention.

One of the most common distractions is the cell phone. These devices are a main form of communication. When someone is trying to read or send a text message, email, check their social media notification, or have their phone in their hand or eyes on the screen at any point, they can cause a car wreck.

Cell phones can also distract drivers who are depending on them for navigation. While having a phone GPS to direct the driver in a hands-free mount can be useful, if the driver is too focused on the screen and not the road in front of them, they can hit another car, person, or fixed object.

There are other common distractions. When people are traveling to work or on longer trips, they may have food or drinks in the car with them. Attempting to drink coffee while on the way to work in the morning or eating lunch on a long road trip keeps the driver focused on the beverage or food and not staying in control of the vehicle. Hot beverages and foods can also risk burn injuries if the person drops the container.

Flossing, applying makeup, and filing out forms are other tasks drivers may try to complete when they’re behind the wheel. If there’s something in the passenger seat or in the backseat, the driver may reach for the object and are focused on retrieving it. During this time, they can swerve into another lane or change speeds.

When there’s something happening on the side of the road, people can become distracted and focus on that instead of driving. This is referred to as rubbernecking. The distraction could be as simple as a stunning view, sometimes it can be an animal, or people can focus on the aftermath of another accident. The driver’s eyes are likely turned to the side to get a better view of what’s happening—but they’re missing what is happening in front of their car. Traffic could have stopped or they could be veering out of their lane.

Any form of distracted driving is dangerous. While people may believe they can multitask when they’re in their vehicle, this is not true. If you’ve been harmed because of a distracted driver, we are here for you.

Driving While Intoxicated
When someone is driving after they’ve had alcohol or other substances, they are not in full control of themselves or their vehicle. An intoxicated driver can experience the following issues:

  • Impaired Judgement. Alcohol and other substances can affect a person’s ability to make decisions. If a driver sees that there is heavy traffic in front of them, it may not connect that they need to start slowing down so they do not cause an accident. Another example is a driver not moving to the left lane to allow a busy merging lane to safely enter the highway.
  • Inability to Track Objects. Other cars, motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians can be on the road. Drivers need to be aware of them so they can give them plenty of space so no collisions occur. A drunk or intoxicated person cannot track these objects well and may not realize how close they are or how fast they’re traveling. This can also apply to inanimate objects like debris in the road. If animals are near the side of the road or in the road, the intoxicated driver may not be able to track how close they are.
  • Swerving Out of Lane. Drivers know they need to keep their vehicle in their lane. However, when the driver has loss of motor function and impaired vision, they can easily swerve out of their lane. If they exit their lane, they could crash into another car next to them or veer off the road and into the sidewalk or grass. If anyone is there, the driver could hit them and cause devastating injuries.
  • Unable to Control Speeds. An intoxicated driver may have erratic speeds. Going too fast, constantly slowing down or stopping in a high-traffic area are both ways that they can cause a wreck.

In Minnesota, the legal limit is 0.08 blood alcohol concentration, but drivers should note that motorists can be issued a DWI if they have lower levels. If you have been harmed because of a drunk driver, we are here for you.

Speeding
Many people may make the reckless decision to drive above the posted speed limit. Those who are running late and are driving faster to get to their destination may think that they can get away with it this one time. Others may not obey the speed limit regularly because they haven’t gotten caught. In these scenarios, drivers are thinking more about risking going above the speed limit and hoping to not get a ticket.

However, any time someone decides to speed, they are putting the safety of themselves and others around them at risk. The speeding drivers rarely think about how their decision could result in a devastating crash.

A speeding car will take longer to come to a complete stop. The driver will have less time to react to anything happening on the road in front of them and it will be difficult to safely maneuver the car in emergency situations.

Traveling at high speeds also reduces the driver’s control of the vehicle. If a speeding driver needs to quickly turn, they could potentially flip their vehicle. These accidents can be extremely dangerous.

Aggressive Driving
In addition to speeding, aggressive drivers may also weave through traffic and may be intentionally antagonistic toward other drivers. Weaving through traffic gives other drivers little time to adjust to the aggressive driver. When someone is changing lanes, they put on their signal to alert other drivers, who may slightly decrease their speed to give this person space. When a driver doesn’t give this alert, they could collide.

Another version of weaving through traffic is if a driver cannot change lanes and wants the person in front of them to go faster. They may follow too closely in an effort to make the driver speed up, regardless if they’re already doing the speed limit. However, this gives the aggressive driver no space or time to make a quick decision. If the driver in front of them needs to slow down or stop suddenly, it’s likely the aggressive driver will hit the back of the car.

Aggressive drivers may also try to get back at other drivers if there were instances where they were cut off or not given space to make a lane change. The aggressive driver could attempt to do the same thing to the driver. But this changes the driver’s focus from driving safely to getting even with another driver.

This could even be if the driver wanted to gesture at the driver or yell something at them—these actions can take the driver’s eyes off the road and at least one hand off the wheel, resulting in reduced control of their vehicle and they’re more likely to cause an accident.

Driving in Inclement Weather
Poor weather conditions can make the roads dangerous for anyone. Snow makes the roads slick and can limit visibility. Ice can cause drivers to slide and lose control of their vehicle. Even a small amount of rain can reduce the grip the car’s tires have on the road.

When someone is driving in inclement weather, they need to adjust their driving so they can move as safely as possible. This typically means slowing down and making sure your headlights are on. If someone is traveling at normal speeds when everyone has slowed down and they lose control, they could slide into other cars around them.

Disobeying Traffic Signs
Traffic signs are posted to inform drivers of how they can safely navigate the road. This goes beyond posted speed limit signs. Stop signs, yield signs, and reduced speed signs are all important for drivers to be as safe as possible.

A driver that fails to follow these signs could cause terrible injuries. Rolling through a stop sign or going through an intersection without reducing their speed at all could result in a crash. Failing to yield could lead to multiple crashes for those merging on a highway with heavy traffic. If a road has sharp curves and blind turns, there will likely be reduced speed signs so drivers can get through those turns safely. A driver that elects to ignore them could cause an accident.

There are other ways for drivers to exhibit negligence. With Madia Newville as your car accident lawyer, we will carefully investigate the accident to find out who caused it and how. You can rest assured we’ll do everything we can to get the facts of the accident so we can fight for you.

However, it’s also possible for the liable party to not be present at the scene of the accident. For example, the driver could have been on the road when their brakes stopped working without warning. The driver cannot slow down or stop their car and they crash into another. In this case, the company that manufactured the faulty brakes may be held accountable for your injuries.

Because multiple parties can be involved in an accident, dealing with insurance companies can be difficult. That’s where Madia Newville can step in as your attorney. We are aware of how complex these claims can be and how severe the losses of an accident can turn a person’s life upside down. We’ll seek justice for you.

The injuries that can result from an auto collision can have painful and sometimes permanent consequences. Even minor injuries can take a long time to heal. With us as your lawyer, we will assess the injuries that resulted from your accident and seek compensation that covers the costs of these injuries. Common injuries that can occur include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries. When a brain injury occurs, the person can experience issues with memory, mood swings, being confused, and have an irregular sleep schedule.
  • Back/Spinal Cord Injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord can affect the person’s ability to walk. If the injury is higher on the spinal cord then function of the arms and trunk can also be limited or lost.
  • Broken Bones. The impact of the crash can break bones, which may need weeks in a cast before they’re healed.
  • This happens when a person’s head moves back and forth in a rapid motion. While treatment can take weeks, the person may experience neck pain for the rest of their lives.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries. Strains, sprains, and bruising can happen. While bruises are often visible, sometimes sprain and strain injuries aren’t as obvious. The person may not be aware that they have an injury that needs treatment.
  • Loss of Limb. In severe accidents, nerves may be damaged to the point where a limb needs to be amputated or the limb is lost in the accident. The individual will need to allow the injury site to heal and then learn how to live without the limb.

The injuries that impact a person’s ability to return to their job and will affect them for the rest of their lives are often categorized as catastrophic. Catastrophic injuries will require extensive treatment, a long recovery time, and there will be a readjustment period where the person may need to relearn how to do basic tasks like getting dressed or cooking.

A catastrophic injury may also require continued care or the use of medical equipment. The medical bills for these injuries can start to pile up and can be even more overwhelming if the person isn’t able to return to their job.

While some may sustain injuries that aren’t catastrophic, they may feel overwhelmed at how they’re going to recover and afford their medical bills as well. Their injuries that may not prevent them from returning to the workforce, but will prevent them from going back to work while they heal. If they’re out for weeks, they may worry about how they’re going to keep up with their financial responsibilities.

Hidden Injuries
After an accident, it’s possible for the individual to feel fine, but this doesn’t mean they’re completely healthy. The shock of the crash can mask symptoms of injuries. A few hours or days later, these symptoms can begin to appear. Recognizing symptoms of pain means something is wrong and you need medical attention as soon as possible.

If someone is dealing with symptoms, they may try to work through the pain or ignore it. However, this will not allow the injury to heal. Working can make the injury worse and cause more pain—and an even longer recovery time. Waiting until the injury worsens can also affect the compensation you’re able to receive.

After you’ve sustained injuries, you need to see a doctor so you can begin treating the injury. If you wait and the injury worsens, you may not be able to recover full compensation for the injuries because you allowed it to get worse. This can lead to you having to cover the costs of some of your treatment out of pocket, which can cause a stressful financial situation. It’s best to see a doctor so you can start recovering and then get in touch with us. 

We will stand up for you and fight for your compensation to cover your injuries. You won’t have to worry about how you’re going to get the medical care you need and put food on the table. You’ll be able to cover your medical costs so you can focus on the most important thing—healing. As you’re working on your recovery, we’ll be working on building you a strong case so you can get the justice you deserve.

Analyzing the type of crash you were involved in may also provide more information on how the other party was negligent and how it caused your injuries. 

  • Head-On Collision. This is one of the most dangerous types of accidents. The front of both cars collide. Someone going the wrong way on a highway may crash at high speeds with another person. This impact can cause devastating injuries and result in fatalities.
  • Multi-Vehicle Collision. A crash can involve more than two cars. The force of the crash can push cars into other surrounding vehicles. For example, there is a line of cars sitting at a red light. If someone hits the last car with enough force, that car may hit the car in front of them, and so on. This can result in multiple damages.
  • Singe Vehicle Collision. Sometimes, an accident only involves one vehicle. This could be from someone hitting a fixed object like a tree or telephone pole. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean the driver is at fault. Another car may have swerved in front of you and you had to turn to avoid them, but it caused you to hit something else. Something in your car may have failed to work, which could have led to you losing control of the vehicle.
  • Broadside Collision. The front of one car hits the side of the other car. They are also known as T-bone accidents and they typically happen at intersections when a car is turning left. They may not see oncoming traffic and could pull out in front of a vehicle. In another situation, someone traveling straight through an intersection may try to speed so they don’t get stuck at a red light, and strike the car turning left.
  • Rear-End Collision. This occurs when the negligent driver doesn’t stop in time and hits the back of the car in front of them. Distracted driving often leads to rear-end collisions. Someone looking at their phone and trying to text may not realize that traffic has slowed down or stopped—and they crash into the car ahead of them.
  • Rollover. These accidents can be extremely dangerous and are more common for vehicles that have a higher center of gravity. However, any vehicle can rollover. These usually happen because a driver is speeding and takes a turn to quickly or something causes the tires to lift. They lose control of the car and can rollover into other vehicles or off the road.
  • Sideswipe. When two vehicles are traveling side by side, they may not notice how close their cars are and the sides can collide. Lane changes and merging can cause sideswipe accidents. An additional danger is when the drivers realize this is happening and try to correct their steering. Overcorrection can also cause loss of control of the vehicle.

No matter what kind of crash you were involved in, you should reach out to Madia Newville as soon as possible. This accident was preventable and your injuries could have been avoided. If the accident you were involved in was a hit-and-run accident, you may additionally be comforted to know that you may be able to file to a personal injury claim against the guilty driver in addition to any criminal charges that may already be in place.

According to the 2020 Minnesota Statutes, you can seek to recover damages in an accident if your fault was not greater than the other party’s. It’s important to know that if you are found to be at fault too, then your compensation can be reduced by that percentage. If the other party is 90% at fault and you were found to be 10% at fault, then your total compensation would be reduced by 10%.

It may be clear to you that you weren’t at fault for your crash, but the other party may claim you were. When you’re getting involved with insurance companies and claims regarding fault, it’s best to have an expert on your side.

We can deal with insurance companies who are contacting you for information about the crash. While there is certain information they need, they may also try to get an official statement from you, which can be used to reduce your compensation. Any information you give to an insurance adjuster could be used against you.

If the conversation with an adjuster begins with them asking how you’re feeling, you may automatically reply that you’re okay or that you’re feeling pain in a certain area. While the first response is more of a pleasantry, it could be used as evidence that you’re not actually in pain. If you talk about the pain you’re feeling, it could be because of an injury in a different part of your body. For example, a whiplash neck injury can also cause shoulder pain. But you may not know that at the time and you may only get covered for a shoulder injury.

Even if you do not provide specific information, they may try to downplay how your injuries are hurting you and what it will cost for you to make a recovery. The insurance company will always act in their best interests. They’re going to protect their bottom line first, which means they’re not going to do everything they can to make sure that you get the full compensation you deserve.

You can avoid putting your claim in jeopardy with Madia Newville as your representation. We’ll handle that communication and work on investigating your case so you get the compensation you deserve.  

The shock of being involved in an accident can be confusing. You’re dealing with the traumatic event, possible injuries, and you’re wondering what you can do next. If you’re looking for a Minneapolis car accident lawyer, you should reach out to Madia Newville as soon as possible so that we can get you on the path to recovery.

When we are fighting for you, we will show that there were certain elements present in your case that prove the negligence of the other party and that you deserve compensation for your injuries.

  • You Were Owed a Duty of Care. When you’re on the road, you owe the other drivers around you a duty of care. This means you will be driving safely and not taking any action that endangers others. Those around you also owe a duty of care.
  • The Other Party Acted Negligently. The other party’s negligent actions mean they failed to meet the duty of care. Their negligent actions could be distracted driving, speeding, driving while intoxicated, or any of the other causes discussed above.
  • Their Negligence Caused the Accident. Then, we will show that their negligence is what caused the car accident. They weren’t paying attention and collided with you, or they were driving aggressively and tried to cut you off, resulting in a collision.
  • You Suffered Injuries and Damages in the Accident. We will then show how you suffered personal injuries and financial losses because of the accident caused by the other party.

We will gather as much evidence as possible to give you a strong case that has the best chance of recovering the compensation you deserve. There are records we can consult as well as evidence from the scene.

  • Police Reports. When the police are making their report, they’ll speak to you and the other party, and also note what they observe. The account you provide here can help your case because you’re providing details immediately after the accident. Over time, you could forget certain facts or details which are preserved in the police report.
  • Eyewitness Accounts. Another party not involved in the crash may have seen what happened. If they’re willing to provide their account, their statement could help you prove that the other driver acted negligently. We will speak with those who saw what happened.
  • Medical Records. After your accident, it’s imperative to get an evaluation from the doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to go over the full extent of your injuries. The date of when you visited will also show that you required medical attention right after the crash. We will examine these records to see how you were hurt and what you’re going to need for treatment.
  • Medical Bills. As he gathers evidence surrounding your planned treatment for recovery, we will also look into what this will cost you. Hospital visits, medication, surgeries, rehabilitation—we’ll total all your medical expenses so he can accurately conclude your financial losses and fight for you to recover these significant damages.  
  • Cell Phone Records. If the other party was using a cell phone at the time of the accident, we will take steps to prove this. We’ll look at records to see if they were on the phone with someone, texting, or using their phone when they should have been focusing on the road.
  • Pictures can also preserve evidence and provide additional support to your story. If you’re able to have pictures of the accident scene, it can show the positioning of the vehicles involved, debris or any marks on the road like glass or tire marks, and also show the weather conditions. You can also keep a record of how severe your injuries are with photographs. Over time, you can show what they looked like initially and how they progress. This can capture severe bruising and other marks.
  • Personal Account. You may consider keeping a personal account after the accident. You can detail the pain you’re feeling and how the injuries are impacting your everyday life. The pain could prevent you from doing everyday tasks or you may have to miss certain events because you’re recovering. This will provide a closer perspective at how much the accident has affected you and is continuing to affect you. This could help us when we are calculating your noneconomic damages.

You can be sure that with Madia Newville as your lawyer, we will explore every avenue to find out what happened, why, and how your injuries are impacting your life. It’s important to have as much evidence on your side so you can provide a clear picture of what happened so you can get fair compensation.

Get the Representation You Deserve

Madia Newville is here to defend the rights of those who have been wrongfully injured in Minnesota. When a negligent party has caused you pain and suffering and significant losses, we’ll help you make your voice heard. With us as your Minneapolis car accident lawyer, we will hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.

When you’re seeking compensation, it’s possible the other side will not offer fair compensation for what you’ve been through. You do not have to settle for less than you deserve. We are prepared to take your case to trial and fight for you in the courtroom. We have years of experience advocating for clients in court and will do the same for you.

We understand that dealing with legal matters can be stressful, but we are here to take care of the legal side of the accident so you can turn your attention to healing. 

THE MADIA NEWVILLE WAY

We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients. 

We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely.  We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case.  We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well.  We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case.  We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial. 

Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward.  Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.

If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit.  Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required.  We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points.  Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims.  A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations.  Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.

Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions.  Not us.  Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity.  We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case.  Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections.  We view this as a wonderful opportunity.  In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on.  We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t.  The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts.  We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny.  Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true.  And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA.  That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.

One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery.  We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery.  This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses.  This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.

This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible.  So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true.  That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes.  We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is.  We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.

The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases.  We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery.  We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.

Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.

After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.

This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries.  We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials.  At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct.  As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.

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