How Do Closing Statements Affect My Atlanta Injury Case?
At the end of a personal injury trial, when the attorneys have questioned all the witnesses and presented all the evidence, each attorney gives a final speech to the jury – a “closing statement.”
By the time the case gets to closing statements, most people on the jury have already made up their mind about who is to blame for the accident. But a good closing statement will give the jury members who are on the victim’s side good reasons why they should compensate the victim for the injuries. They can use these reasons in the jury room when they and the other members of the jury decide what the result should be in the case.
At our Atlanta injury law firm, Stokes & Kopitsky, P.A., we handled a recent case in which I prepared our closing statement to cement in the jury’s mind the reasons for making a substantial award to the victim. The victim was on foot when she was struck by a car that had crossed the center line. The car was driven by an employee of a large computer manufacturer, a technician on his way to a repair job. The victim was seriously and permanently injured.
All the facts showed that the employee had crossed the center line and hit the victim pedestrian, but both the driver and his employer tried to avoid taking any responsibility for the accident. The driver actually came up with three different versions of the accident. In his first version, he claimed that the victim was on his side of the street and she was running across the street when he hit her. His second version was that she was actually on her side of the street, but he hit her because he was trying to avoid hitting a crowd of people. In his third version, he denied that he had even crossed the center line.
The corporation who was his employer also denied any responsibility. They claimed that when the employee caused the accident, he wasn’t on the job. They made this claim despite the fact that the employee had already filed a workers’ compensation claim, stating that he was on the job and in route to fix a company computer when the accident happened.
Our closing statement was very simple. I was prepared to tell the jury, “This case is about the acceptance of responsibility. My client, who will have a bad leg for the rest of her life, accepted her responsibility to get treatment. She was life-flighted to the hospital; she was treated in the emergency room; she followed-up with all her surgeries and all her appointments. Now she will have to live forever with this bad leg. But this driver has denied responsibility. The company he worked for has now changed their mind and said, ‘yes, he was on the job,’ but for two years they fought us and they denied responsibility. Well, it’s your turn today, as the jury, to hold them responsible and make them live up to the commitment.
“We have asked for $2 million. I have computed that it will take this company approximately 8 minutes to generate $2 million in revenue. The $2 million you may award to the victim, though, will have to last her entire lifetime, 8 minutes compared to 30 or 40 more years of living with a bad leg.”
A closing statement with the theme stated like that will get a good verdict every day of the week, just like it did in this case. It was intended to let the jury go into deliberations thinking about all the reasons for giving the victim the compensation she deserved.
If you, your friends, or your relatives have been injured in an accident case, please call us at Stokes and Kopitsky, P.A. in Atlanta, Georgia for help. Our goal in representing you is to get you the very best settlement or jury award possible in your injury case. We have taken many complicated cases through trial with excellent results. Please call us any time, any day, 24/7, to get help or set up your free consultation.
Remember, you do not need any money or insurance to hire us. We advance all costs and our fees are paid only from any settlement or award we obtain for you. Please call us toll-free at 1-800-700-5050 for the experienced and concerned legal help you need to get your life back on track after an injury. We are here to help you and we welcome your calls.