By Dr. Ken Manges, Ph.D. | Forensic Psychologist
When an injured person’s condition has improved to a point at which no further meaningful improvement is expected, it is important for attorneys to clearly convey this aspect to a jury.
In general, there is a tendency for people to believe that over time, most injuries will improve, and thus the injured person will be better next month than they are today. This false belief is not uncommon for those with head injuries, where jurors cannot readily see the damage from the injury because the person may otherwise look “normal.”
Because of the person’s “normal” appearance, it may be hard for some jurors to truly believe the evidence being presented to them about vocational and work capacity, as well as psychological issues. As a result, jurors may be reluctant to compensate a valid TBI occurrence on the faulty belief that “tomorrow the person will probably be fine, and I don’t want them to get a windfall.”
Normal Is Not Always What It Appears To Be
As a plaintiff’s attorney, your role may be to prove for a jury that their likely expectation about improvement are not accurate, to do so, an expert can opine to a jury that “this is the best that the injured person will be; he or she will face the same problems over their remaining lifetime as they are facing today.” Conversely, if improvement is expected, an expert for the defense can be used to offer valid evidence and testimony that contradicts the information introduced by the plaintiff, and explain to a jury why improvement may be likely or possible.
Retaining the Best TBI Expert for Your Case
A TBI expert’s testimony will be critical for an award of full and fair compensation for all aspects of a case, as such testimony will be the basis upon which a juror can properly consider all relevant factors for each of the damage components. Therefore, it is crucial to obtain a qualified, professional, and well-respected damage expert by considering aspects such as the expert’s background, experience, ability to convey sometimes complex matters to a jury, and perceived trustworthiness.