Why Clients Should Choose a Trial Attorney
Posted on March 8, 2022 in Firm News
One of the hardest decisions a client must make during a legal proceeding is choosing between negotiation and litigation.
Numerous factors have to be taken into account when dealing with a personal injury matter. Relying on an experienced personal injury attorney that is also an experienced trial attorney would serve clients in the long run.
What Is a Trial Attorney?
As opposed to a personal injury litigator, trial attorneys deal with the most complex workings of the legal system. They prepare witnesses, help choose jury members, gather evidence, and take several other steps to represent their clients successfully in a courtroom. Because trial attorneys are often also seasoned litigation attorneys, their insight of courtroom battles helps them to posture and position each case in the strongest light, regardless of whether it goes to trial.
Trial attorneys have the advantage of seeing personal injury cases from different perspectives. Their ability to spot an offer that is too low becomes an invaluable tool during these tough decision-making moments. An experienced trial attorney will be able to level the playing field by navigating the pre-trial process, negotiating settlements, and not being scared to take your case to trial if warranted. They will always fight for the compensation you deserve and won’t settle for anything less.
Example of Why You Should Choose a Trial Attorney
A perfect example of why you should choose a trial attorney played out in a Bronx Courtroom a couple of years ago in a pedestrian knockdown case.
The victim in this tragic accident was a twenty-seven (27) year old woman who was employed at a doctor’s office in Tribeca. At the time of the accident, the victim was on her lunch break heading to her typical sushi restaurant, crossing at the crosswalk with the green light in her favor. Sadly, a vehicle making a left-hand turn did not stop and violently struck her, forcing her to fly out of the crosswalk and sustaining life-altering injuries.
As a result of the accident, the plaintiff was diagnosed with a fracture in her lumbar spine and developed debilitating back pain along with bilateral shoulder tears. After months of physical therapy for her back, the plaintiff underwent back surgery to help relieve some of the pain in her lower back.
Despite the plaintiff’s best efforts to do all within her power to improve her condition, she continually descended into a world of torment that ravaged every part of her life, professionally and personally. The cataclysmic consequences of her injuries and their grim residual damage decimated her existence for the three and a half (3 ½) years prior to trial.
Through motion practice Eugene Gozenput, the trial attorney at Pazer Epstein Jaffe and Fein P.C., obtained summary judgment on liability on behalf of the plaintiff. This meant the only issue left to prove at trial was the causation of the plaintiff’s injuries and, if causally related, the fair and adequate compensation for those injuries.
Despite losing the motion on liability, the insurance company took a hard-nosed stance and took a no-pay position for the plaintiff’s accident. They argued that the injuries the plaintiff sustained were all pre-existing and degenerative. The defendant driver had an underlying insurance policy of $300,000.00 and umbrella coverage of $1,000,000.00 for a total of $1,300,000 in coverage.
Throughout the hard-fought trial, Eugene Gozenput managed to establish through cross-examination of the Defendant’s expert neurologist that the plaintiff sustained an 80% diminution of her back’s range of motion. Additionally, Eugene Gozenput, managed to preclude the Defendants expert Radiologist from commenting on several of the MRI films given the doctor didn’t include them in his expert exchange report.
To prove the causation of the injuries to the plaintiff, Eugene Gozenput called the plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgeon to testify. The treating orthopedic surgeon testified that all of the plaintiff’s injuries were related to this accident. The surgeries were necessary to help the plaintiff recover a loss in the range of motion and relieve pain. The doctor demonstrated through MRI films and his examination of the plaintiff that all of the injuries were directly related to the plaintiff’s accident and explained that the defendants’ experts were wrong in their analysis.
After three weeks of trial and contentious cross-examinations of the Defendant’s three expert doctors, motion arguments, direct and cross-examinations of the plaintiff, defendant, and additional damages witnesses as to the plaintiff’s condition following this accident, the insurance company offered $500,000.00, minutes prior to closing arguments.
Eugene Gozenput, discussed the offer with the plaintiff who was initially inclined to take it. Understandably, the offer was more money than the plaintiff had seen in her life and the fear of losing and getting nothing was a big part of her thought process. In the end, the plaintiff asked Eugene Gozenput what he felt of the number the defendants put forward and if it was adequate to compensate her for the injuries she sustained fairly.
Eugene Gozenput then had a detailed discussion with the client about all of the injuries she sustained over this three-and-a-half-year period. He went through the three surgeries and the rehabilitation following those surgeries. He explained that there was a chance of future treatment that may be needed and that the client would have to live with these injuries and the compensation that the insurance company offered for the rest of her life.
Finally, Eugene Gozenput spoke to the plaintiff about other cases with similar injuries and the settlement values on them from his experience. He explained that in his opinion, the offer was still too low and that he would recommend they move ahead and take a verdict. The plaintiff agreed, and the offer was rejected.
After closing arguments and a long deliberation by the jury, the jury awarded the Plaintiff $7,075,000.00. This result was published in the New York Law Journal’s Top Verdicts & Settlements for 2019. The result made the NYLJ Top 25 Verdicts in New York and a Top 3 Verdict within the “Motor Vehicle” category.
Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein NYC Ridesharing Accident Attorneys
At the law firm of Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein, we have been fighting for New York City victims injured in negligent accidents for over 60 years. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, our experienced trial attorneys are here to help.