Coping with Case Weaknesses: Plaintiff Credibility and Defendant Likability

Plaintiff Credibility Many times in personal injury cases, liability largely hinges on the credibility of the plaintiff. It essentially boils down to whether the jury believes the defendant or you. In all kinds of personal injury cases, including pedestrian injuries, product liability, medical malpractice, auto collisions and the like, it’s not unheard of for defendants to lie to their insurance carriers. This can give jurors the impression that you, the plaintiff, are not credible. Jacksonville personal injury law firm The right Jacksonville personal injury law firm will take steps to counteract a defendant’s lies. Physical evidence, including photos that demonstrate the extent of the damage and tire marks, can help bolster your credibility. Also, witnesses who have heard inconsistent statements from the plaintiff can come in handy under such circumstances. Defendant Likability If your Jacksonville personal injury lawyer is able to obtain a settlement, the defendant remains a nameless, faceless entity. At trial, though, that’s a whole other story. Suddenly, the defendant isn’t some huge, impersonal insurance company; it’s a living, breathing person. If the person is likable, he or she may elicit empathy from jurors, causing them to compromise on damages, liability or both. With the exception of cases against uninsured motorists, evidence of insurance coverage is not typically allowed in personal injury trials. As a result, jurors may come away with the impression that damages will be paid directly out of the defendant’s pocket. The defense attorney may use this to sway the jury, and it’s especially effective if the defendant is very young, very old or owns a small, family-operated business. Fortunately, there are steps your lawyer can take to counteract these issues. He may convince the judge to forbid the defense from hinting that the award will come directly from the defendant’s pocket and can object to evidence that elicits sympathy for the defendant. Also, your lawyer can emphasize that the verdict you’re seeking isn’t intended to punish or penalize the defendant but to compensate you for your pain, suffering and other damages. Hire a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Before doing anything else, you need to get in touch with a Jacksonville personal injury law firm. Call injury lawyer John Fagan at 904-278-1000 now.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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