Be a Good Person, and Let the Jury Know It
While a jury requires solid proof of fault on the part of the wrongdoer, as well as credible evidence of damages, letting the jury know that you are an honest and good person will also go far in maximizing any money award.
First, credibility is key. Since to be human is to err and be imperfect, there will always be issues that can cloud the waters of an otherwise clear case. Rather than letting potentially damaging evidence come out for the first time during the defense attorney’s cross-examination, handle the issue up front during direct examination. For a jury, as it is for any of us, an honest person (albeit a person with life issues) can be forgiven. A liar cannot.
Second, altruism will be rewarded. Testimony that, prior to the disabling accident, you volunteered time and donated money to good causes, particularly those that supply aid to the needy, shows the jury that you are truly selfless. This is an earmark of a good person. Further, testimony that, despite the disabling accident, you continue to help others shows the jury genuine altruism. For a jury, as it is for any of us, it is much easier to reward a person who, despite adversity, has the courage to continue to be a good person.
Finally, defense attorneys will do their homework to find evidence against your credibility. Thus, your actions should not belie your trial testimony and trial should not be the first time anyone learns of your honesty and good deeds. In the end, “what goes around comes around.”