In addition to substantive rules that determine when someone is entitled to compensation, there are countless evidentiary and procedural rules that apply to legal proceedings. If a party fails to abide by these evidentiary and procedural rules, it can serve as the basis for a new trial. If a jury is exposed to evidence that it was not supposed to hear, it can unfairly prejudice the jury and skew its ability to apply the law to the facts of the case. As dedicated Chicago personal injury lawyers, we have substantial knowledge regarding the evidentiary and procedural rules that apply during legal proceedings and we will ensure that they are applied fairly in your case.
A recent Illinois appellate opinion provides an example of how an evidentiary rule can impact the outcome of litigation. The decedent’s wife, who was designated the independent administrator of her husband’s estate, brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the medical persons who cared for her husband up until his death, which resulted from a pulmonary embolism. A jury trial was conducted and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff moved for a new trial, arguing that the defendant’s lawyer ignored a pretrial motion in limine order that barred any mention of her husband’s refusal to be transferred to another hospital on the day that he died. The court found that the comments made by defense counsel in closing violated the motion in limine and were sufficiently prejudicial to warrant a new trial.