Will I Need to Testify at Trial?

by Charles Harvey Allen on May. 07, 2019

Accident & Injury Personal Injury Accident & Injury 

Summary: Atlanta personal injury lawyer Charles Allen discusses some common questions about testifying during trial for a personal injury case.

Human beings consistently report that they fear public speaking more than death. Many injury victims, therefore, are naturally anxious about the prospect of testifying at trial. Personal injury victims are not required to testify at trial. However, except in the most extreme cases, a personal injury victim should always testify when given the opportunity.  

Our trial lawyers at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC have successfully achieved jury verdicts for our clients for over three decades, including a 15 million dollar verdict in 2016. We appreciate how important it is for our clients to testify. We will take as much time as you need to get you prepared for trial. Although no attorney can eliminate all of your anxieties, a seasoned, empathetic Atlanta injury lawyer will empower you to shine on your big day in court. 
 

Why Is It Important for Me to Testify?

 

At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC we typically represent victims that have been catastrophically injured in car accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, or due to medical malpractice or a defective product. Our clients that are fortunate enough to survive the traumatic event that harmed them often will need extended future medical care. As a result, by the time that we take our clients’ cases to trial, our clients have usually suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in economic damages (lost wages, past medical bills, surgery costs, future medical treatment, etc.) – not to mention the pain and suffering that our clients have endured.  

At the end of the trial, after we’ve presented all of our evidence, we ask the jurors to hold the defendant(s) accountable for all of the harms caused by their misconduct. In many cases, the total harms caused by the defendant(s) exceed a million dollars. The jurors then have to determine what they believe to be the value of our client’s losses. We can only offer them a suggestion.

Most jurors in Georgia are hardworking middle-class folks that work long hours. They are often not fairly compensated for their labor. The income that they earn goes towards their child care expenses, rent, food, medical treatment, and other essential services. Most of them don’t have a lot of savings. In fact, a recent nationwide study performed by Bankrate revealed that most Americans don’t even have enough savings to cover an unexpected $1,000 medical bill. 

At the beginning of the trial, before they’ve heard any evidence, some jurors might feel that hundreds of thousands of dollars is too much money for a single person, let alone a million dollars, regardless of the harm. Others that have undergone surgery similar to the surgery you underwent, that wasn’t caused by a single traumatic event like yours was (e.g. a torn meniscus repair, ACL reconstruction, or neck surgery), might ask, “no one ever paid me for my surgery, why should this victim get paid for his or her surgery?” 

Despite those concerns, most jurors try to keep an open mind during the trial. They are willing to reconsider their position and potentially compensate you fully for your losses, but they want to hear from you first. They want to understand who you are and what you suffered. If you don’t testify, you lose the golden opportunity to connect with the jurors that want to get to know you better. If jurors don’t get to know you, they will typically be less inclined to offer you full compensation, particularly for your pain and suffering because that’s more challenging to measure than compensation for economic damages like medical bills.

If you’ve been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, slip and fall incident, or due to dental malpractice, you should hire a team of personal injury attorneys that have the compassion to listen to your story and the resolve to help you communicate those essential truths even when you’re nervous in front of a jury. That process begins with your initial phone call. 

 

Contact An Atlanta Accident Attorney for Help

 

At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, our lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars for injured victims and their families. We understand that those successes were only possible because we took the time to understand our clients and empower them to discuss sensitive issues in front of the jury.   

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