How Much Is My Case Worth? Will You Make a Good Witness at Trial?
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".
Believability is part of the equation, as is sincerity, and ultimately sympathy and/ or empathy. Perhaps the most significant component can be preparation.
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 cases 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 to 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, soft-spoken wallflowers, but when their time comes, they give compelling, gripping, 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. But that sense, honed perhaps by years of being right, and wrong, is by no means foolproof. Nevertheless, I think those years of experience can provide assistance to my clients who face the sometimes daunting prospect of testifying. I offer guidance to my clients about testifying, and approaches that have worked for others, and those that have not. As noted, 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 trial process generally, I'd be happy to sit down and talk to you about those concerns.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 10/28/19.