Is there a subjective component to how much compensation you recover? You bet there is, which highlights some of the inherent complexities in assigning value to a case. Seasoned Baltimore personal injury and accident lawyers that try their cases have no doubt heard a defense lawyer say after a deposition:
"Your client will make a good witness", or, more ominously, "they are just not believable".
Now, to be sure, that is one opinion, and defense lawyers don't determine the amount of money awarded to an injury victim [although they do have input as far a what an adjuster may do]. But juries do. I've tried a lot of case of the years, and the reality is that that some folks are better at conveying how they feel than others. Some people may be eloquent and verbose when describing a mechanical problem, or how catch rockfish, but, when it comes to describing their pain levels in the weeks after an accident, their powers of communication escape them. Others may be retiring, stuttering wall flowers, but when there time comes, they give compelling, griping, unquestionably sincere testimony. It is subjective, and I can assure you, how a particular person will testify can be difficult to gauge.
But how a particular injury victim comes across to jurors definitely can have a tremendous impact on the amount of the award.
I've developed some sense over the years of how convincing a particular client might be a trial. I offer guidance to my clients about testifying, and approaches that have worked for others, and those that have not. Believability is part of the equation, as is sincerity, and ultimately sympathy and/ or empathy. Perhaps the most significant component can be preparation. If you have concerns about testifying, or the the trial process generally, I'd be happy to sit down and talk to you about those concerns.