Recovering High Dollar Damages in Low Income Areas

Recovering High Dollar Damages in Low Income Areas

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Recovering High Dollar Damages in Low Income Areas

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. It is a situation that many personal injury trial lawyers approach with uneasiness and anxiety: representing a client who has suffered millions of dollars worth of damages in a courthouse packed with individuals barely able to make it from paycheck to paycheck. It would seem that such a situation would feed into every negative stereotype the jury may have about lawyers and personal injury clients:

  • “Big-city” lawyers are only out to get as much money as they can so they can afford a new sports car; and
  • Greedy injury plaintiffs fake and feign their injuries, hamming it up in front of a court so that the jury would feel sorry for them.

How should personal injury clients approach this rather uncomfortable situation? Here are several tips:

  • Let your attorney be honest about the case upfront: It is far better for your attorney to announce upfront that he or she is seeking a multimillion dollar award on your behalf and be able to explain why at the outset of your case than surprising the jury at the end of your case. When your attorney is honest with the jury from the start about your case, it gives your attorney a stronger opportunity to build rapport with the jury. Even if the jury is uncomfortable with the idea of such a large award, they will at least appreciate the directness and forthrightness of your legal team.
  • Do not take offense during voir dire: During the jury selection process (voir dire), your attorney should spend some time visiting with the potential jurors about how they feel about multimillion dollar personal injury awards. Some jurors may react angrily to your case because of the amount of damages you are seeking. This is okay. As hurtful as some of the comments may be, this helps your attorney identify potential jurors that would not make good jurors to hear your case.
  • Do not apologize: instead, remain confident: You and your attorney should resist any urge to appear apologetic, shamed, or embarrassed to ask for a high-dollar award. Remember the merits of your case. By the time your case has reached the trial phase, a thorough investigation should have been completed into your case and your attorney should feel confident about the quality of evidence available to support your claim. Remind yourself that the defendant caused your injuries, not you. You would not be asking for a multimillion dollar award had the defendant not caused you to be injured to as great of an extent as you were.
  • Expect that the issue of damages will come up … a lot: You can legitimately expect the defendant to bring up the amount of damages you are seeking regularly throughout your trial in order to paint you as greedy or not trustworthy. Your attorney, however, should also bring up the issue of the damages you are seeking routinely as well. The more your attorney brings the matter up during your case in chief, the more comfortable the jury will (hopefully) be with the damages you are requesting by the time the defendant gets to present his or her case. What might have seemed ludicrous and outrageous at the outset of your trial should seem acceptable and reasonable by the time you rest your case.

Confidence is Key

All of the above suggestions boil down to this: have confidence in yourself, your case, and your attorney. If you and your attorney have prepared appropriately for your case and you have been honest throughout the process about the nature, extent, and impact of your injuries, there is nothing you need to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. Even if the damages you are seeking greatly exceeds the community’s median income most jurors will respond favorably to a trial strategy that honestly tells the jurors what it is you are asking for and why you believe you deserve such an award. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to go about recovering high dollar damages in low income areas,

Contact a California Personal Injury Lawyer for Help

If you suffer from a pre-existing condition and have been further injured by another person’s careless acts, contact The Law Office of Edward A Smith today.

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney. I’ve been helping seriously injured victims recover the compensation they deserve for over 33 years. If you have been hurt due to the negligence of someone else, please call me today at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice.  Elsewhere, dial me at (800) 404-5400.

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I have been practicing personal injury law and recovering high dollar damages in low income areas since 1982.

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