F.A.Q. & Help Center

HONEST GUIDANCE AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Our Philosphy

We have learned through experience that the best way to achieve a favorable settlement is to prepare each case to win at trial.  Bonsignore Trial Lawyers have earned a national and international reputation for its professional integrity, competence and an aggressive approach to case prosecution. We acknowledge that the number one complaint that clients have about lawyers is their failure to return phone calls or respond promptly. We provide the cell and home phone numbers of the lawyer assigned to your case and encourage you to call us 24/7 if you have a question. We lie awake so our clients can sleep.

“We lie awake at night, so our clients can sleep.”

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this text do not constitute legal advice and are not meant to be complete or exhaustive. Although Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC tries to ensure the information is accurate and up-to-date, all users should seek legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, PLLC nor its members are liable or accept liability for any loss which may arise from possible errors in the text or from the reliance on information contained in this text.

WHAT SETS US APART

WHY CHOOSE BONSIGNORE?

We only agree to represent clients for whom we can make a difference and with whom we share a common commitment to a common cause. We view our relationship as a special responsibility and a partnership with our clients.

Whatever outcome best serves our clients we pursue to the best of our abilities because our compensation often is contingent on our performance. Most of our time is devoted to pursuing litigation under contingency fee agreements where our compensation depends on what we achieve, not how much time we spend working on a case

Our consultations are always FREE!

We make the legal process as simple as possible so you can focus on the details that are important to you, not the lawsuit.

We’re available 24/7 and will come to you at your request. Once we accept you as a client you become a member of our legal family. We will answer any legal questions you have on matters unrelated to your case, and in most instances free of charge. This benefit also extends to your family and friends. There are many qualified law firms to choose. This is one way that we show our appreciation for you choosing Bonsignore Trial Lawyers.

  • We don’t charge fees unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
  • Our opponents know we have the experience and resources to take our cases all the way to a jury verdict.
  • Their peers have recognized our lawyers for numerous years as a premier law firm in the United States.
  • We advocate for our clients rights in and out of the courtroom.
  • We’re equipped to handle cases nationwide and internationally.

CLIENT RELATIONS AND CASE STAFFING

A major focus of Bonsignore Trial Lawyers is client relations. To provide exceptional client service, each client is provided with the cell and home phone number of the lawyer assigned to their case. The attorney manages all aspects of your lawsuit along with a team that may include our director of litigation, paralegal assistants and other professional staff. The team follows all formal investigations, retains experts, researches applicable case law, and carefully studies information handed over to the firm by you or any third-party.

Clients will also receive the assistance of a dedicated client relations staff person who is familiar with their cases, communications preferences, and special requests or needs. Client relations staff members work directly with the lawyer assigned to a client. Bonsignore Trial Lawyer clients are kept up to date on significant developments all the information they need to make important decisions about their cases when the need arises.

YOUR LAWYER – YOUR PARTNER

We only agree to represent clients for whom we can make a difference and with whom we share a common commitment to a common cause.

When we agree to become your attorneys we usually work on a contingency fee basis. We do not expect to be paid unless we are successful. Under a written agreement we promise to bear the costs of preparing a case for trial. As long as our clients follow our advice, if there is no recovery, there are no charges, no fees and no costs. If we are successful in a class action or UDAP case, we must petition the court to order the wrongdoer to pay the fees and costs we advanced.

We view our relationship as a special responsibility and a partnership with our clients. As in any partnership, we ask our clients work closely with us to assure shared and informed decision-making.

BONSIGNORE’S VALUES

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers was founded on the premise that each client’s case and story is unique and that every client deserves personal attention. The firm has assembled a team of lawyers and professionals who share the goal of providing clients and their families with quality, individualized representation.

BONSIGNORE'S VISION

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers is guided by the belief that the civil justice system, though not perfect, provides compensation and accountability for those who have been needlessly harmed by the wrongful acts of others. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers has grown to be one of the Nation’s most prestigious and recognized plaintiffs’ firms, with a practice that spans the globe. The attorneys at Bonsignore Trial Lawyers consistently achieve multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients and have created meaningful change.

BONSIGNORE’S RESOURCES

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers strive to give our clients a 110% effort. Giving a client a 110% effort means not skimping on evidentiary resources. We walk the walk, not just talk the talk. For example, we advanced over two (2) million dollars in a single case to insure our clients eventually received just compensation they were awarded. In antitrust cases, we routinely hire multiple preeminent experts. We routinely hire IT experts to obtain our clients electronic data so that our business clients can focus on generating income, and not on litigation. In a product liability action, we purchased the machine in issue. In an auto case we rented helicopters, trucks and vehicles prior to filming evidence admitted at trial. In a case involving the facial disfigurement of a child, we retained the services of multiple experts to prepare an age progression sequence. We lie awake at night so our clients can sleep.

Whether it’s the complex economic analysis of a global market, a computer simulation, or the purchase of a machine we always do what it takes and are prepared to throw the full weight of audio, visual and sensory elements into our proof. Sophisticated technology is an essential tool in our practice.

Doing these kinds of things takes money – quite often, lots of it. We bear all costs in preparing a case. It’s another investment we take very seriously. When faced with serious damages and institutions looking to protect their financial interests, our clients regard this financial capacity quite literally as the opened door to justice.

BONSIGNORE’S READINESS

We are a boutique law firm. Because we limit our practice, we are able to focus our resources and skills to act quickly, forcefully and effectively. When a client is accepted, momentum is immediate. Years of representing clients with challenging cases has taught us the value of keeping cases moving. We know and understand that our opponents are afraid of the courtroom, where the public will learn the truth, so we push to bring our client’s cases to trial, while striving to create imaginative solutions that are in our client’s interest. Nothing brings about a defendant’s willingness to act reasonably more quickly than knowing we will bring them before 12 jurors ready to hear all the evidence we have mustered as a standard part of our business.

CLIENTS BILL OF RIGHTS

BONSIGNORE TRIAL LAWYER CLIENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO CONFIDENTIALITY
We respect your privacy.

BONSIGNORE TRIAL LAWYER CLIENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO RESPONSIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE
We pride ourselves on being responsive to our clients’ needs and having open lines of communication 24/7. Most often this level of service is not necessary. When it is needed however, we are ready to jump into action as a matter of course.

BONSIGNORE TRIAL LAWYER CLIENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO PERSONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE
Bonsignore Trial Lawyer clients have the right to fast and efficient service. We rarely use voicemail and our email is monitored continually for rapid response. We believe there is no substitute for what can be accomplish with personal one-to-one relationships. We will keep you informed about all important details and developments in real time. By keeping you informed and up to date, your expectations are realistic. When you work realistic expectations you can feel comfortable in planning. We strive to be part of the solution to your goals.

BONSIGNORE TRIAL LAWYER CLIENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD
We invite feedback as a tool for constant improvement.

BONSIGNORE IS RELENTLESS

We believe the difference between getting an expedient settlement and a just award often comes down to an attorney’s innate determination, spirit and commitment. Settling too low can stem from lack of preparation or a lack of will. Getting justice demands both solid case preparation and the will to insist on a fair result. Many claim that they can deliver. We prefer facts.

We have a strong record of success confronting wrongdoers who have taken from our clients their property, stolen business opportunities or have injured their financial well-being. Those who take efforts to avoid responsibility for the damage they have caused are who we target and take out. We meet them in the courtroom and we fight with facts before juries of citizens that we trust to follow the law and to separate fact from fiction

ATTORNEY FEES

HOW DO LAWYERS GET PAID?

Lawyers get paid in a variety of ways – hourly, contingent, flat fee or a combination of some or all. Clients have the right to accept or reject the method of payment offered by their lawyer. No matter which type of fee agreed upon between you and your lawyer, always obtain proof of the agreement in writing.

Most states have ethics rules that govern lawyer conduct including the payment of their fees. Generally, lawyers are forbidden from charging excessive fees. Most states have ethical rules that require all fees charged by lawyers be reasonable. Lawyers are forbidden from sharing or splitting fees with non-lawyers.


RETENTION AGREEMENT
When you decide to entrust Bonsignore Trial Lawyers to represent you, a formal contract is created and signed by both parties. This agreement sets forth what will be expected from both the firm and the client as we prepare a winning case for you in court, as well as detail fees and costs after settlement of a successful trial. We provide our personal cell phone numbers to make reaching us as easy as possible 24/7. We place a very high priority on being responsive to you and your business throughout the litigation process.

A retention agreement memorializes the formal relationship between the client and the lawyer. A retention agreement sets forth the form and method of payment, the scope of representation, and the rights and responsibilities of both the client and the lawyer. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers always provide written retention agreements. Retention Agreements come in many forms. They include but are not limited to:

CONTINGENT FEE AGREEMENTS
Under a contingency fee agreement the lawyer charges no set fee and instead earns a percentage of the settlement or judgment, if any is awarded. If there is no recovery, the lawyer receives nothing and absorbs all related fees.   Contingency fees typically range from range from 25% to 40% of the recovery, plus expenses. In most cases, the reimbursement of costs is conditioned on a recovery also. Rarely in high-risk cases or large-scale business disputes sometimes the Client is asked to contribute case costs.

CLASS ACTION CONTINGENT FEE AGREEMENTS
Under a Class Action contingency fee agreement the lawyer charges no set fee and instead may be awarded fees after a settlement or judgment. If there is no recovery, the lawyer receives nothing and absorbs all related fees. Contingency fees typically range from range from 25% to 38% of the recovery. The lawyers may also request case costs.

While it is necessary for the client and their lawyers to enter into a Retention Agreement, it is the Court that eventually awards fees and costs, if any. In every class action, before even considering such a request, the Court will require notice of the intent to request fees and costs be given to the class. All class members are given an opportunity to object to the award of attorney fees and costs. Prior to awarding costs the Court will require the lawyers to submit detailed time and cost records. The Court will then scrutinize them before making an award. The Court will base the award of attorney fees on a set of considerations adopted by various courts of appeal.

HOURLY FEE AGREEMENTS
Under an hourly fee retention agreement the client is responsible to pay for the lawyer’s time as it accrues. Generally hourly rates depend on the experience of the attorney, the market, and complexity of the case. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers bill in 1/10th of an hour increments, not by the quarter of the hour as many firms do. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers also believe that regular billing statements must be sent to the clients describing, in detail, what was done and the related charge.

FLAT FEE AGREEMENTS
Under a flat rate retention agreement the client pays an agreed upon flat fee for an agreed-upon and limited service. Examples include a will, a simple corporation, defense of a minor criminal charge etc. Flat fees are usually charged when the services being provided are predictable

RETAINERS
A retainer is a deposit on fees. A retainer is usually refundable if not used by the lawyer. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers believe that money paid, as a retainer must be kept in a trust account and only be drawn on by the attorney as fees are earned. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers also believe that regular billing statements must be sent to the clients describing in detail what was done, what was the related charge and how much is left on the retainer.

FEE SHIFTING
The general American Rule is that each side pays its own legal fees in litigation. However, there are several exceptions to this and fee shifting (to the losing side) is sometimes possible. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers often seek to have attorney fees and cost paid by in antitrust, consumer protection, and other cases. We will let you know up front whether we will seek a fee shifting exception in your case.

No matter which type of fee agreed upon between you and your lawyer, always obtain proof of the agreement in writing.

BONSIGNORE TRIAL LAWYERS FEE STRUCTURE

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers take most cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not incur any lawyer’s fees or expenses until we obtain a recovery for you. If we do not obtain a recovery, then you owe us nothing. Depending on your needs we will work with you. Depending on the case, the litigation costs may be advanced on the client’s behalf by Bonsignore Trial Lawyers. If so litigation costs are reimbursed by the client at the conclusion of the case and paid only if there is a recovery. This approach allows for a client to fully pursue his or her case without paying any money until a recovery and/or final disposition is made.

The payment of attorney fees can take many forms. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers will always reduce the fee structure to writing and provide you with a copy. The writing, referred to as a retention agreement, will also set forth the scope of the representation. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers always provide written retention agreements.

HIRING A LAWYER

WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE I HIRE A LAWYER?

Before you hire a lawyer you should define your problem. Think in terms of the big picture and your immediate needs. If you are having trouble with that, do not worry. Sometimes that is why you need a lawyer. Bonsignore Trial lawyers will listen carefully to what you have to say, professionally assess your circumstances, advise you of your options and rights, offer a long and short term game plan, and advise you how long things are likely to take and what you should expect. We will also answer all your questions.

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU HIRE A LAWYER

When will I speak with an actual lawyer? (If you don’t initially meet with a lawyer)

If you’re struggling just to meet or speak with a lawyer, it’s a clear warning sign that you won’t be getting the appropriate amount of attention your case deserves. At Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, you’ll always speak with the lawyer handling your case.

What types of personal injury experience do you have? 

Confirm their personal injury experience is the best fit for your needs. Also confirm other experience that me help your case. For example, a medical background could help the attorney better understand your injuries.

Can you handle cases with very severe (catastrophic) injuries?

These are much more complex, take longer to set up, and require exceptional attention to detail. Sometimes it even makes sense to finish medical treatment first in order to make sure that the final settlement is much more than the original offer.

What other staff members will be working on my case? 

It’s better to have a highly trained team, in addition to your attorney, working on your case. You want someone to answer your questions when your attorney is in court or not available.

How often do your cases go to trial? 

Most cases settle and never make it to trial. You want an attorney who can settle your case when it’s best for you, but also one who is not afraid to fight for your rights in court.

Will your firm handle my case if it has to go to court?

Many lawyers don’t take their own cases to court, and will pass your case to another firm. At Bonsignore Trial Lawyers, we have our own in-house litigation department.

What is your fee? 

You should not have to pay any money until the attorney collects on your behalf. But what percentage of that will the attorney keep? If the fees are 33% of the settlement or higher, you are paying too much!

When I call with a question, how long will it take for you to return my call? 

When you have a question, it’s important to get it answered. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers will return emergency calls immediately, and other calls within 24 hours.

SHOULD I HIRE A TV LAWYER?

NO! Most reputable lawyers DON’T advertise on TV whether it’s during Jerry Springer or not! Don’t assume that the fact that a TV ad is running means that the lawyers behind it are qualified. Some lawyers focus on practicing law, others on running TV ads. Before contacting a lawyer advertising on TV, find out who is running the ad. Always review that lawyer’s background. Learn about a lawyer’s experience and qualifications. When you talk to the lawyer ask them when it was that they tried their last case to a jury. Focus on what you need to know, including references, recent cases they personally handled, and whether or not they have tried similar cases. Also exactly which lawyer will be assigned your case and how long have they worked at the firm. Also ask if they will refer you to a different lawyer if you go to court.

If a lawyer or someone acting on their behalf contacts you and asks you to hire them it is commonly against the Legal Rules of Professional Conduct. When a lawyer will break those rules to get your business, he is probably not the kind of lawyer you want representing you.

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE AGREEING TO HIRE

Here are some important questions to ask before agreeing to hire any lawyer:

Is the lawyer a generalist, or do they specialize?

Has the lawyer handled cases like yours before?

What different outcomes can the lawyer predict for your case?

What’s the estimate for total fees and expenses?

Will the lawyer inform you of the case’s progress?

What style can you expect from the lawyer?

Will others be assisting in the case?

Is the lawyer covered by malpractice insurance?

WHAT SHOULD I DO FIRST?

WHAT IS THE ORDER MY CASE WILL PROCEED?

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers understand that becoming involved with a lawyer or prosecuting a lawsuit is an unfamiliar process to most of our clients. We also fully appreciate the fact that dealing with a lawyer can be stressful or take time away from other things you would rather be doing.

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers believe one of the most important parts of our job is to the greatest extent possible – eliminate your stress. In addition to assuming as much of the burden related to your legal needs off your shoulder as possible we will educate you on what to expect and why, and then keep you up to date.

We also encourage all our clients to ask as many questions as possible as often as possible. We believe that the better informed you are, the less stress you will suffer and the more efficiently you will be able to contribute to the prosecution of your cause.

WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE THE INITIAL MEETING WITH A LAWYER?

The initial phone call or meeting with a lawyer is likely something new that comes at a time you least expect it and at a time you have many other pressing concerns. The initial phone call or meeting with a lawyer is likely to concern a very serious or traumatic matter. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers fully appreciate these common realities and will go out of our way to minimize the necessary intrusion. We will focus our efforts on your needs, obtain the information we need as quickly and painlessly as possible, and then we will address and completely take care of your legal needs and then work hard to achieve a result that exceeds you expectations.

THE INITIAL CONSULTATION

The first step for a prospective client is to meet or teleconference with Bonsignore Trial Lawyers attorneys and support staff. During this initial consultation, we will listen carefully to what you have to say and often ask very specific questions. We will also give you a straight and unfiltered opinion of what we see as your claims and your chances of success, and what it will take to recover. At a minimum we will also confidentially explain the litigation in focus and how it impacts you. Following the call we remain available 24/7 to respond to any follow up questions you may have and to assist your staff in any way they desire.

During the initial consultation, relevant facts about your particular circumstances give our attorneys the information they need to discuss your relationship to the basis for a lawsuit and chances of a successful civil action in court. We will also go over the time required of you and the logistics of business litigation. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers understand you are not in the business of litigation and we pride ourselves on minimizing the time you must spend on litigation related matters. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers also takes great pride in our policy of going out of our way for our clients. Once you are a Bonsignore client, we will review any legal matter that involves you, your business or your employees free of charge. If we cannot solve your related issue, we will direct you to several law firms who we believe can and also provide our general opinion and the plusses and minuses of each recommendation.

There is no need to make any decisions at initial consultation. We understand that you may need to discuss the options and decide what the best route is to achieve your goals.

WHAT TAKES PLACE AT THE INITIAL MEETING?

At the Initial Meeting we will:

 

  1. Sign the retention agreement if it has not already been signed;
  2. Go over the details of your cause;
  3. Explain the litigation process and the road that your cause will follow including alternative dispute resolution;
  4. Explain the law that will apply to your case;
  5. Identify the evidence including the names of witnesses that will best support your case and when necessary agree upon an immediate plan to best preserve that evidence;
  6. Finalize the details of your evidence gathering and your litigation hold protocol;
  7. Identify the key players who will assist in the prosecution of your cause;
  8. Go over the anticipated time line applicable to your cause;
  9. Answer all your questions;
  10. And discuss your options.

 

We will also give you a straight bottom line answers to questions relating to your chances of success, anticipated case costs, the likelihood of an early settlement and the various burdens that will be placed upon you and when they will be placed upon you.

WHAT SHOULD I DO TO PREPARE FOR THE INITIAL MEETING WITH MY LAWYER

Preparing for your initial meeting is easy:

 

  1. Write down all your questions;
  2. Gather and take with you every related item that you possess. Where the information or item is overly large or bulky, write down what it is and where it is;
  3. Write down the name, address and phone number of every witness or key person. If you don’t have complete information, write down as much as you know;
  4. Write down what you want and what you expect.

We encourage you to email us any of the above in advance. We also understand that some of these steps may be impossible for you to do under the circumstances you face. Don’t worry. Do your best and we will work to fill in all gaps?

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP AFTER THE INITIAL MEETING WITH A LAWYER?

The research phase is crucial and can take some time as we carefully analyze all of the relevant facts of your case. From the information gathered, we begin to understand who was at fault and, therefore, who or what entities will be named as defendants in your suit and held accountable to you.

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers always review what the next steps are and what to expect going forward. Most times we will follow up with a letter or email. We encourage our clients to contact us 24/7 whenever a question arises or we can be of assistance.

After the initial meeting Bonsignore will hit the ground running. Depending on the nature of your cause and the amount of progress made at the Initial Meeting, we may take the load entirely off you. We understand this it is our job to achieve the best result possible and that you are not in the business of prosecuting causes. We will work to gather and preserve evidence, organize what needs to be organized, open up all necessary lines of communication, and continue to refine your case. As required by the specific unique circumstances of your case we will investigate, hire experts and do all things necessary to achieve the fastest resolution.

LITIGATION PRIMER

FILING A CIVIL ACTION

The filing of a civil complaint marks the start of the formal litigation process. Although the level of detail requires depends on the unique claims advanced, every complaint identifies the parties, the facts supporting the claim and the relief requested. After the complaint is filed in court, it is the obligation of the Plaintiff to serve a copy of it on each defendant. The defendant then has between 30 and 45 days to answer each allegation set forth in the complaint. Alternatively, the Defendant may request the Court to dismiss the complaint as a matter of law.

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers’ attorneys will send you draft copies of the civil action before it is filed. We will discuss your case and decide upon the best legal tactics to employ, such as the best venue or court in which to file your case and which parties should be named as defendants. After the strategy is decided, the law suit or civil complaint is drafted by your attorney naming the parties who are at fault and a trial by jury is demanded. The complaint is carefully reviewed and then filed in the appropriate court of law. Where a law suit is filed, whether a law suit is filed in federal or state court and where, is dictated both by law and understanding on our part about what venue would be the most advantageous forum for your case.

WHAT IS A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS?

A “Statute of Limitation” determines the time frame and the last date a party can file a lawsuit. If you file a complaint on time, a statute of limitations has nothing to do with how long it takes for a case to conclude. If you believe you may have a claim, it is important to speak with Bonsignore Trial Lawyer’s as soon as possible. In addition to preserving your rights and protecting your claim in court, a trial lawyer will also help you preserve evidence, locate witnesses, and perform other tasks that will help you win your case in a timely manner. If you file a complaint on time, a statute of limitations has nothing to do with how long it takes for a case to conclude.

Statutes of Limitation laws serve two main purposes. They protect potential defendants from being forever at risk of a lawsuit. They also ensure legitimate lawsuits are filed while evidence and memories are recent.

Once you have ascertained what statute of limitations applies to your case, your next step is to determine what date the statute actually begins. A Statute of Limitations begins to run on a “Trigger Date”. No matter how clear liability is or how significant the loss after a Statute of Limitations passes unless a lawsuit is on file the related claim is time barred. Lawyers refer to this absolute deadline as the date the “Statute of Limitations expires”. If the lawsuit is not filed before the passage of the Statute of Limitations deadline, it is subject to dismissal by the court.

Statutes of limitation vary from state to state, and also vary depending on the type of claim to be filed. For example, the Statute of Limitations of a negligence claim may expire in one state in 1 year and in another state in 3 years. The Statute of Limitations of a breach of contract claim may run in 4 years in one state and six years in another. It is important for your lawyer to evaluate the Statute of Limitations at the Initial Interview. The first issues a Bonsignore Trial Lawyer resolve at the initial conference is the range of causes of action and the Statute of Limitations for each.

The period of time during which a lawsuit must be filed usually begins with the date of harm. Exceptions to this general rule pause the Statute of Limitations. This is called “Tolling”. In special cases where injury is not discovered for months or years after it occurs the statute of limitations may be Tolled.

Under the doctrine of Tolling, the Trigger Date is the date the harm was discovered by a reasonably prudent plaintiff should have known about the harm. In many cases whether the plaintiff actually knew about it or not does not control. When a reasonable Plaintiff should have known when they were injured is a question of fact. The following three circumstances illustrate this point:

Earliest Detection – the Date the Injury or Wrongdoing Occurred

On January 1, 2014 Doctor performs surgery to remove Patient’s appendix but mistakenly cuts and has to remove Patient’s spleen as well. Doctor tells Patient of the mistake as soon as he wakes up. Patient’s time period for suing Doctor begins to run on January 1, 2014 since the harm occurred on that date and Patient was informed of the mistake. If a one-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice applied to Patient’s case, he’d have one year from January 1, 2014 to file a lawsuit against the Doctor.

Later Detection – the Date the Injury or Should Have Been Discovered

Same case except Doctor does not tell Patient about the surgical mistake. Patient is in constant pain following the January 1, 2014 surgery. A month later, on February 1, 2014 Patient talks to another doctor who tells him that he should not be in pain and that he should immediately come in to have it checked out. Patient delays going to see a doctor until June 1 of the same year, at which time he finds out that his spleen had been removed on January 1, 2014.

In this situation, Patient’s time period for suing Doctor may begin to run on or shortly after February 1, 2014 because the pain coupled with the second doctor’s advice determines when Patient should reasonably have discovered the harm.

Latest Detection – the Date the Injury or Wrongdoing Was Discovered

Same case, except that Patient suffers no unusual after-effects following the January 1 surgery. Patient is unaware that anything went wrong with the surgery until June 1 of the same year, when an x-ray during a routine medical checkup reveals that his spleen was also removed. In this situation, since Patient did not discover and could not reasonably have discovered the harm until June 1, the Trigger Date is June 1.

The Tolling of a Statute of Limitations is generally limited to circumstances where a wrongdoer has fraudulently concealed their wrongdoing and the injured party reasonably could not and did not discover the wrong. It is very common in antitrust cases. The Tolling of a Statute of Limitations may also occur where the Plaintiff lacks capacity because the Plaintiff is a minor, mentally ill, or in the military.

If you believe that the Statute of Limitations may have passed in your case, you should consult a Bonsignore Trial Lawyer immediately. We will carefully analyze all the relevant facts and immediately provide you with advice.

WHAT IS DISCOVERY?

The purpose of discovery is to gather facts and evidence. Another purpose of discovery is to eliminate unsupported positions and arguments by exposing a lack of evidence or facts in support. At every stage we make clear that we intend to leave no stone unturned. This strategy can lead to earlier or higher settlement amounts.

Preparing for trial is a labor-intensive undertaking for the lawyers. It is also our bread and butter and over nearly 30 years of focused experience Bonsignore Trial Lawyers have refined the process to make it efficient, cost effective and non-intrusive. We take great pride in the fact we are often singled out as having the best-prepared witnesses in any given case.

We will collecting relevant documents, conduct interviews, obtain sworn statements, engage experts and do all things necessary to support your claim. This is called “discovery”. The facts we obtain in discovery through Requests for Admission, Depositions, Interrogatories, and Requests for Production or subpoenas help us obtain the evidence we need to tell your story or to confront your opponent with evidence that may prompt them to settle. Alternatively, when your case goes to trial depositions, interrogatories and paper discovery allow us to impeach/discredit and remove a witness if he/she changes testimony in court.

Evidence is simply another word for facts that are presented to a group of ordinary people. Evidence is what the juries relies on to fairly and impartially determine fault and the amount that equals your full measure of damages. As we obtain facts and information necessary to prove fault and establish your full measure of damages, our courtroom strategy is constantly developed and refined. As we piece the case together, we send an important message to defendants about their liability exposure. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers’ attorneys are known for their aggressive discovery.

 

Discovery is a process by which the parties disclose and exchange information. Prior to participating in discovery, Bonsignore Trial lawyers will confer with you and assist you in preparing your responses. We will also fully assume the responsibility for serving discovery on the other parties, review what they produce, and follow up as necessary. The following are very basic descriptions of common discovery tools:

 

Interrogatories
Interrogatories are a set of written questions intended to elicit information related to the subject of the lawsuit. We require all defendants to answer interrogatories. Interrogatories are sets of questions that must be answered and returned along with a signed, sworn statement. Interrogatories are an important discovery tool as they commit a party to a position, and may uncover facts not determined in the initial investigation. In the past, interrogatories have identified individuals who have relevant knowledge or evidence and secured admissions on key facts.

 

Requests for Production of Documents and Things
Production requests may be for writings or things. Typically, documents related to the lawsuit are requested. During discovery, we collect and assemble documents from our opponents and other parties, such as emails, internal memos, manuals, market analysis, meeting minutes, phone records and any other evidence that support your case

 

Requests for Admissions
Requests for admissions require the responding party to admit or deny a specific point related to the lawsuit.

 

Depositions
Depositions of witnesses or other third parties with relevant information are important. During depositions, lawyers ask questions in person in the presence of a stenographer who types up the spoken words. The person whose deposition is taken is allowed to review and correct, or change the written testimony. Bonsignore Trial Lawyer deponents are always very well prepared. Once prepared the potential for stress is reduced, and most often eliminated.

 

Experts
The experts we engage for your case will help us prepare for trial. Using their analysis, we can present a professional opinion of your situation. Those same experts may testify if your case goes to trial and they may provide insight to the jury.

 

When the discovery phase ends, a date is set for trial and your attorneys begin to prepare for the courtroom. By this time, both sides have a good idea of the strength of the suit and it is possible that a settlement, mediation or arbitration may be considered.

SETTLEMENT

WHAT ARE THE ODDS MY CASE WILL SETTLE?

Well over 90 percent of all cases filed never go to trial. This is in large part because Plaintiff lawyers stand to lose the significant sums of money they advance in case costs if the case is lost. The fact is that Plaintiff lawyers face an even greater risk of economic loss on the line because they work without pay until there is a recovery in favor of their client. Because only meritorious cases are advanced, more often than not defendants sooner or later recognize that they are likely to lose in court and become willing to offer a fair settlement.

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers pride themselves on the level of clear and easily grasped communication with their clients. This policy pays off at the crucial point when a decision must be made whether to enter into settlement or negotiations or stand firm and demand your right to a trial by jury. This decision is ultimately our clients, made with the counsel of Bonsignore Trial Lawyers. It is based upon what we learned during the discovery phase regarding the ultimate strength of your case.

CAN I SETTLE MY CASE BEFORE SUIT IS FILED?

We have learned that the best way to achieve a fair settlement is to prepare each case for trial from the initial intake. As Trial Lawyers that is our firm philosophy. That having been said, because a routine part of our practice is taking disputes to trial we do not consider attempts at early resolution a sign of weakness. Importantly, neither do our opponents. Whenever the opportunity to resolve your cause presents itself we will take advantage of it. We will also give you our straight unfiltered opinion on all settlement offers.

WHAT IS MEDIATION?

Sometimes a judge will order, or both parties will agree, to have an unbiased, professional mediator explore the options of a settlement before proceeding to trial. The mediator’s job is to bring both sides together to resolve the case and he or she will hear arguments from both sides. The mediator will propose how the case should be settled, but it is important to note that the decision is not binding. If the issues cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of both sides, the case continues to move toward trial.

WHAT IS ARBITRATION?

Arbitration is a dispute resolution process that finally resolves the dispute between the parties without a trial. Instead of a judge or a jury, an arbitrator or group of arbitrators finally decide how the dispute should be resolved. An arbitrator is a third-party chosen or appointed to hear and formally rule on the case. Both parties agree that it is “binding”, meaning the decision is final. While this is a less formal proceeding than a trial, each side may present evidence and testimony in order to prove its case to the arbitrator. In arbitration, there is no jury and there may be more than one arbitrator and a panel with one member who presides over the hearing. Setting aside an arbitration award is very difficult.

TRIAL

WHAT CAN I EXPECT IF WE HAVE TO GO TO TRIAL

Despite the fact most cases settle or are heard by an arbitrator or mediator, trial preparation remains the primary focus until an alternative resolution is agreed upon. Bonsignore Trial Lawyers will make sure you are also ready to present your winning case to a judge and jury. We do this slowly and effectively over time and never needlessly intrude on your business operations. Our joint courtroom strategy is created over the time and improved as we more deeply researched your case and gathered more and more relevant information and testimony during the discovery phase. You are only required to contribute what you already know by this point.

TRIAL PREPARATION

To prepare for trial your Bonsignore Trial Lawyers attorney and trial team will review the volumes of evidence gathered and create a trial plan. We often use focus groups to refine our points and arguments. Your trial team will prepare theories and orders of proof, lines of questioning, consult with experts, determine which evidence to use and how best to present it to the jury.

 

Bonsignore Trial Lawyers are attorneys are meticulously prepared long before the time jury empanelment begins and armed with detailed evidence – comprehensive facts and expert testimony. In advance of trial we will meet with you and thoroughly prepare you to testify and otherwise insure you are not only at ease, but that you look forward to the opportunity to tell your story. Our witnesses are always the best prepared.

JURY TRIALS

While a jury trial sounds like a frightening and challenging experience, it is in fact the opposite. Jurors are regular people from all walks of life, education levels and demographics. During trial you are finally allowed to tell your story.