Arguing damages in a personal injury case

Arguing damages in a personal injury case

David Ball has written excellent books which are available from NITA. In his book on damages, he recommends that the plaintiff motivate the jury to award damages in order to: (1) Fix (2) help and (3) to make up for harm done. He suggests that the jury should use a scale for evaluating the damages which consists of three questions: (1) how bad is the harm (2) How long does it last and (3) How much does it interfere with daily life.

Here is a basic outline for arguing damages in a personal injury case:

  1. Show jury actual jury verdict form & fill in answers to liability questions

  2. Review damage jury instructions with jury

  3. Explain that goal is full justice & less then that is injustice

  4. Empower them with the ability to do justice

  5. Explain that justice is appraising in dollars the harm done which must balance

  6. Explain there are two distinct time periods to evaluate: past & future

  7. Explain there are two distinct & different kinds of damages: non economic & economic

  8. Review the economic damages – past & future

  9. Review the elements of damage to be evaluated regarding non- economic elements

  10. Review the effect of injuries

  11. Evaluate in dollars the non-economic damages

  12. Fill in the jury verdict totals

  13. Make concluding remarks

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