If you've been severely injured in a motorcycle accident, at some point you will likely testify about the effect that your injuries have had on all aspects of your life. How effective you are at describing the aftermath of your accident can heavily influence not only how the jury feels about your case but how much the jury determines your pain and suffering is worth.
How do you make an effective case for pain and suffering? Use these tips.
1. Describe your experience from the beginning as if you were telling a story.
It's often easier to remember everything you want to say if you start from the beginning and remember that you're essentially telling the jury a story that starts with the moment of your accident. This can make it easier for you to give the jury specifics that will help them relive the accident with you and move with you through the painful stages of your recovery.
It also can help you in another way: talking about your experiences in chronological order can also help you gain a measure of consistency. Consistency counts for a lot when it comes to how credible the jury feels that you are.
2. Be open about your feelings.
This can be difficult to do because many people are culturally conditioned to keep their emotions private and not to burden others with the ugly or unpleasantness of their personal lives. However, when you are testifying about your pain and suffering, that rule has to go out the window. You need to be willing to let the jury see your raw feeling and emotions so that they can connect with you on a personal level.
3. Be clear about the effect your injuries has had on other areas of your life.
You probably aren't the only person who has suffered as a result of your injuries. If you have parents, siblings, children, a spouse or another romantic partner who has been involved in your care since you were injured, your relationship with that person may have been affected negatively by the trauma of the accident and the stress of caring for you.
For example, in the case of the ex-UCLA football player, the strain of the caregiver role that his fiancee had to deal with caused her to call off their wedding plans. That's a huge shift in the relationship that he had and something that juries can weigh when calculating your losses.
For more advice on how to organize your thoughts and testimony so that the jury can really understand your pain and suffering, talk to your motorcycle accident attorney well in advance of your trial date so that you can practice putting your feelings and experiences into words.