For anyone who may be thinking about entering the arena to battle over a serious personal injury or other civil lawsuit, here’s some information and non-sugarcoated advice about the reality of trial and proof of damages.
It’s a fact of life for civil trial attorneys. Most clients are unrealistic about the financial value of their cases.
One reason for this lack of realism is very understandable: when you’ve been severely injured or when you’ve been gravely wronged, either in business or otherwise, emotions can run very high. Emotions impair objectivity and rational analysis.
And let’s face it, we can all be emotional sometimes.
But emotions don’t add up in an Economic Damages Excel spreadsheet.
At The Maddox Law Firm, LLC, we always think in terms of trial: how are we going we prove something at trial and what are the instructions given by a judge to a jury on any given topic, including the topic of damages?
Connecticut civil trial juries are instructed by judges that damages are divided between economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include such things as pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish and psychological injury.
Connecticut civil trial juries are also instructed that they must be “fair just and reasonable” when assessing damages. What does that mean? What that means is that you’d better have all the proof that you can muster to help your jury to be – at the very least – “fair, just and reasonable”.
Economic damages include bills and expenses directly caused by the defendant. Economic damages also include lost income and the diminished or sometimes completely lost ability to earn an income in the future.
But, you can’t guess at any of this. In fact, Connecticut law specifically prohibits speculation about damages of any kind.
So, suggesting that you’ve lost money from a job or that you won’t be able to earn as much money in the future without cold, hard proof won’t get you any where. Cold hard proof includes tax returns, wage and bank statements. For businesses, it means a complete accounting, including certified profit and loss statements.
You can’t work for cash or not report income, and expect to prove to a jury that you’ve lost income as a result of a severe injury.
You can’t do business on a handshake or on the basis of informal agreements and you can’t run your business by the seat of your pants and expect to prove lost business revenue in court.
When it comes to proving economic damages, there’s no guessing at trial and emotions only get in the way.
At the Maddox Law Firm, LLC, we simply refuse to soft-pedal, varnish, dress up or otherwise play games with trial preparation and the proof that is required to win your case. Remember, it’s the arena where we work and do battle. Allowing a client’s case to be blindsided can be fatal.
Whether you settle your case or go all the way to a verdict, you will leave money on the table unless you have an authentic trial law firm gathering your proof, preserving your evidence and preparing for trial every step of the way. That’s who we are and what we do at The Maddox Law Firm. Call us about your serious injury case or civil lawsuit today.