Co-Counsel/Trial Counsel for your Personal Injury or Traumatic Brain Injury Cases
Missouri & Illinois Injury Team
The legal system can be a challenging and overpowering space to navigate, particularly when it comes to civil cases. It’s common for settlements to be reached without ever stepping into a courtroom, but if your case does progress to trial, it’s crucial to have a skilled attorney who understands how to battle for your rights. While many lawyers can expertly negotiate and secure settlements, only a few possess the necessary skills to provide strong representation at trial. Therefore, it is essential to find an experienced attorney that is well-versed in the nuances of the legal system and can assist you in achieving a favorable outcome.
When it comes to navigating the courtroom, experience is key. If you’re facing the possibility of a trial after failed negotiations with the insurer, it’s crucial to select an attorney with proven skills in civil litigation. A qualified personal injury trial lawyer can expertly present testimony from experts familiar with your case, cross-examine witnesses, and confidently advocate for what’s deserved, all under the pressures of the courtroom. These legal talents are honed by considerable time spent in courtrooms, and you can ensure they’re on display during your trial by choosing the right trial attorney. Remember, the stakes are high in litigation, so don’t leave anything to chance. Invest in the best possible representation for your personal injury case.
Finney Injury Law offers a comprehensive approach to civil injury cases by combining the skills of experienced negotiators and litigators. Our attorneys have extensive trial experience, so if your case goes that route, you can feel confident in our ability to handle it effectively. Plus, having one attorney for both negotiation and litigation simplifies the process considerably – ensuring an efficient resolution no matter where negotiations lead.
What is a Trial Attorney?
A trial lawyer represents clients who are involved in litigation—both civil and criminal. While criminal lawyers represent either plaintiffs or defendants in a situation where a crime has been alleged, civil litigators represent those in disputes where no criminal offense has occurred. In personal injury cases, litigation involves a trial lawyer arguing persuasively for his or her client in order to get them a fair settlement. A civil trial attorney must go beyond what is usually involved in a civil claim.
What Does a Trial Attorney Do for a Case?
Civil trial attorneys have a critical role to play in our legal system. They represent clients in court and are responsible for assessing evidence to support their client’s claims. Beyond this important task, trial attorneys in civil matters also provide legal advice and guide their clients through the legal process. A great trial attorney must be able to develop persuasive trial strategies and arguments that will help their clients achieve their desired outcomes. From developing a convincing argument to persuading the judge and jury that their client’s settlement request is valid, civil trial attorneys are skilled professionals who play a crucial role in our justice system. Civil trial attorneys do the following:
- Conduct complex trials, including arguing on behalf of the client, and thoroughly questioning witnesses from the other side to expose weaknesses in their defense
- Conduct discovery, which can involve taking depositions, drafting and arguing motions
- Participate in all types of dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, and settlement conferences
- Prepare their own client for trial
What is the Benefit of Going to Trial for a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury cases typically do not go to trial, but they can. If the insurance company in your case simply refuses to offer a fair settlement amount, there may be no other option but to go to trial. Both sides may be confident they can win at trial, or the insurance company may have simply dug its heels in, refusing to offer a fair settlement. There can be benefits to asking for a trial, including:
- If you are successful, you will likely have more money than you would have in a negotiated settlement. Some juries will award far more in damages than negotiations would have garnered (The flip side of that is that if you lose, you may get nothing).
- You can get a sense of closure once there is a verdict from a public trial. Your unanswered questions may be resolved, and you may feel vindicated if the jury sides with you.
Civil cases that typically go to trial involve extremely serious injuries, permanent disabilities, and even the death of a loved one. A client who may never be able to work again due to the extent of their injuries or who will never again enjoy their life as they did prior to the accident could trigger a trial in a civil claim. The amount of future medical expenses, future lost wages, and whether the defendant’s conduct can be considered willful or outrageous are all factors in a civil claim going to trial. Yet the greater the claim’s value, the less likely the defendant will agree to pay, meaning a trial might be a part of the case.
How Can a St. Louis Civil Trial Attorney from Finney Injury Law Help in Case Preparation for a Trial?
If your civil claim goes to court, you need a civil trial attorney who knows how to prepare a winning case. Each trial lawyer has their own style. However, there are things that outstanding trial attorneys have in common:
- Courtroom presence and personality that allows them to connect with the jurors
- Critical thinking skills and being able to think outside the box
- Comprehensive preparation
- The ability to tell a good “story.”
Civil trial attorneys possess a range of skills that enable them to navigate the legal system and effectively advocate on behalf of their clients. While some of these abilities are learned in law school, others are acquired through years of practice and experience. One key trait of successful civil trial attorneys is the ability to tell a compelling story that resonates with jurors and judges. Some attorneys possess this skill naturally, while others must work hard to hone their storytelling abilities. Additionally, jurors and judges appreciate attorneys who establish a personal connection while still upholding the principles of the legal system. Confidence in one’s legal abilities is also important, as it can inspire trust in clients and help an attorney present a convincing case. By combining these various talents and honing them over time, a civil trial attorney can become a powerful force in the courtroom.
When it comes to civil trials, there is no denying the importance of a strong case. However, even the strongest case can fall apart if it is not presented clearly and effectively. This is where a great civil trial attorney comes in. By investigating every aspect of the case and preparing a solid plan of action, a skilled attorney can gather all of the necessary evidence, including taking depositions as needed. Additionally, they will be sure to prepare exhibits and other visual aids to help jurors stay focused on the most important aspects of the case. Of course, opening remarks and a powerful closing argument are also key components of any successful civil trial. Ultimately, a well-prepared, organized, and engaging presentation can help to overcome any deficits in the case and even turn the tide in your favor. When it comes to a civil trial, the key to winning the case isn’t just presenting the facts but also crafting a compelling story that resonates with the jurors. Human beings are innately drawn to stories, especially those that tug at the heartstrings. This is why it’s crucial to hire the very best civil trial attorney who can seamlessly weave together the facts of your case with a narrative that captures the attention of the jurors. At Finney Injury Law, we understand that storytelling is an essential part of any successful civil trial. Our experienced attorneys can handle negotiations and represent you in court, ensuring that your case is presented in the most effective and engaging manner possible.
A personal injury case involving a client with a traumatic brain injury, catastrophic injury, or a wrongful death case is complicated and expensive. If your high-level case demands an experienced team to get your client the best results possible, we’re here for you.
When you partner with Finney Injury Law, you can expect:
- Financial assistance to ensure your client receives proper treatment, proper experts, and results for your case.
- Open dialogue, exchange ideas and strategies with a legal team just as invested in the case as you are.
- Beginning to end support. We can assist in trial briefs, Motions In Limine, instructions, summary judgments, post-verdict issues, appellate arguments, and appellate drafting.
Our highly skilled attorneys will assist you at any phase of your case. Regardless if you are in the beginning, investigation and development, litigation, trial preparation, or presentation stages, we are prepared to share our knowledge.
Recent Co-Counsel Successes
20 Million Dollar Wrongful Death – Trucking Accident Verdict
Original Offer: $0
Final Result: $20,025,000.00
Case Number: 2011-CC00821
Case Date: 08/05/2022
Insurance Company: Sentry Insurance
Schultz, et al vs. Great Plains Trucking, Inc., et al – Jury Verdict
On Friday, August 5, 2022, a St. Charles County, MO jury agreed to hold a Kansas trucking company responsible for the death of a 19-year-old, returning a verdict of $20,025,000.00.
Attorneys Toni Schlapprizzi and Craig Schlapprizzi of Schlapprizzi Attorneys at Law represented the mother while Firm attorneys Chris Finney and Alex Ledbetter co-counseled the case representing the young man’s father.
On August 6, 2019, “Junior” was traveling in the passenger seat of the family vehicle on Hwy-70 when the SUV was struck by a semi-truck causing catastrophic injury to Junior and ultimately his death.
The trucking company denied culpability in Junior’s death. They offered $0 to settle the case and an alternative explanation for the young man’s passing, blaming his mother, the SUV driver.
Three years after his death, our St. Charles truck accident attorneys stood toe-to-toe with the defense counsel in a St. Charles county courtroom. The days were long filled with expert and witness testimonies, photo and video exhibits and statements. The jury worked well into the evening on the fifth and final day; at 11 pm, they rendered their verdict: $20,025,000.00.
We cannot say enough about the people of St. Charles who served and worked on this jury. They gave of themselves to arrive at this verdict and received nothing in return. It’s incredibly selfless and humbling to watch.
Money will never replace the loss of a child, but we are incredibly grateful to the jury and couldn’t be happier for our clients, especially the mother who was blamed for her son’s death for three years by the defense.
$2.5 M Auto Accident
Case Number: 17SL-AC26803
Case Date: 11/08/2018
Insurance Company: Liberty Mutual
Brown V. Clifford-Jury Verdict
Our client was an active grandmother who gardened and practiced yoga until she was struck in a T-bone collision by a man pulling out of his driveway. She developed permanent chronic neck pain as a result from the crash. The defendant’s insurance company originally offered $14,937 to compensate for our client’s decreased quality of life, blaming the pain on her age. Read more in our January 2019 newsletter cover story.
$2.5 M Auto Accident
Case Number: 17JE-CC00795
Case Date: 07/14/2019
Insurance Company: USAA
Veal v. Kelam-Jury Verdict
A small business owner, our client worked hard to support his family. That was until a crashed terribly and unnaturally altered his life forever. Despite the efforts of the defense to blame him for the crash and say it was only worth $5,000, the jury saw through it. Read more in our July newsletter cover story.
$1.25 M Brain Injury
Case Number: n/a
Case Date: 05/07/2018
Insurance Company: Travelers
Moore v. Van Ronzelen-Settlement
Settlement He was planning a career in the U.S. Navy until a motorcycle accident resulted in several serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. Despite both our client and the defendant facing charges, a settlement was reached. Easing the burden of our client’s life-care expenses for him and his family.
$250k Truck Accident
Case Number: 1822-AC05315
Case Date: 08/28/2019
Seger v. City of St. Louis – Jury Verdict
A jury of 12 found the City of St. Louis responsible for the injuries causes against its own citizen. Read More in the October 2019 newsletter cover story.
$900K Pedestrian/Vehicle Accident
Case Number: Confidential
Case Date: 03/06/2020
Insurance Company: Confidential
Confidential vs. Confidential – Settlement
It was a day like any other. Our client arrived to work, approached the crosswalk, and was suddenly and violently run over by a car as he walked across the street. He suffered multiple injuries, including two broken arms. His injuries prevented him from performing his job as a custodian and the usual daily activities most of us take for granted. He would battle depression caused by his injuries and the toll they took on his day-to-day life.
While our client fought to recover, our Firm prepared for battle against the insurance company. A lawsuit was filed, the Firm ready to fight for justice for our client in court. Fortunately, before our client ever saw the inside of a courtroom, a settlement was reached.