Why Do I Spend So Much Time On Trial Preparation When Over 90% Of All Lawsuits Settle Before A Trial?

For over 35 years, I have represented clients who have been injured in automobile accidents, slip and falls, the negligence of a hospital or doctor, products liability, nursing home neglect, and even dog bites. Of all the clients that walk into my office with injury cases, I settle well over 90% of their cases without getting a verdict from a jury.

About 50% of those cases settle without filing a lawsuit. Even when a lawsuit is filed, most of those cases settle before the case is called for trial. Cases even settle during trial itself. So why do I still prepare each case as if I will be trying it before a jury of 12 citizens in Chester County?

Benefits Of Pre-Trial Preparation

Either I have a mental condition that borders on excessive compulsive or I firmly believe in the Boy Scout motto of “Be Prepared.”

In truth, I have found that the best way to get a good result for a client is to prepare each case as if it were going to be presented at trial. That way, I have left no stone unturned, and I have a complete picture of the entire case so that my damages evaluation can lead to a favorable settlement. There’s another good reason for full preparation of each case.  The other side – the insurance company – knows when they’re facing an attorney who is well prepared.  Not every lawyer prepares extensive settlement brochures which highlight not only the medical records but the client’s injuries. I meet with many of my clients’ treating doctors in their offices so that I may learn in detail of my client’s injuries and the affect their lives. The doctor also sees the extra effort and usually will repay with a well-written report. Medical exhibits are obtained from x-rays or operative notes which enhance my client’s injuries and, therefore, the value of their case.

My preparation is paid off either by a good settlement or the fact that if I have to go to trial, I already have most of the necessary preparation done.

Steve Karp

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