March 14, 2015 • Personal Injury FAQs
Restrictions in Explaining Pain and Suffering
In a personal injury case, how do you explain to the jury, the pain, and suffering of the victim? The answer is simple, the attorney must put the jury into the shoes of the injured victim. Only then, people can truly understand the type of pain and suffering the victim has truly endured.
However, there is a problem for doing this at trial. In a personal injury trial in New York, the plaintiff’s attorney cannot ask the jury to step into his client’s shoes. This is prohibited, because when it is done, the jury will naturally feel sympathetic and will want to reward compensation.
This is exactly what the plaintiff’s attorney would want, but he will have to do it some other way. He will have to motivate the jury to understand the pain and suffering of his client in another manner. The lawyer will have to push the jury to visualize what his client has gone through, and there are many ways of accomplishing this.
Creating a Visual Impact
Photographic and video evidence plays a crucial role in making the jury visualize pain and suffering of the victim. For instance, the deposition of a severely injured accident victim can be held at the victim’s home because he is unable to travel to the attorney’s office where depositions are usually held.
When the jury sees the deposition video, they are able to see and visualize how the victim interacts with people in her own home. The jury gets to see the home environment of the victim, the difficulty for him to remove himself from his chair to obtain a glass of water, or to eat food, or even go to the bathroom.
All the things the victim is unable to do, the jury can see all of them, just by watching the victim in his home environment on a daily basis. Such video evidence is critically important because the victim’s attorney will be able to use these visual images at the trial.
The lawyer can use this evidence to explain to the jury, what he had observed, and even though the lawyer is not testifying, he can ask his client and his family members about his state of health, to confirm what is on the video. This will give the jury a true visual picture and clear understanding of what his client is going through. As tragic as that is, the video or photographic evidence will give the jury a sense of understanding about exactly the type of problems and the pain and suffering endured by the client.
The Doctor’s Testimony will be Huge
Photographic and video evidence is one of the best ways of showing the jury, the suffering that is endured by the client. However, it will have to be backed up by medical evidence as well. The treating doctor, who will provide expert witness testimony, will explain to the jury the extent of injuries suffered by the victim, the treatment that was required up to the trial date, and the possible treatment the victim will require in the future.