Sympathy is a central part of any injury case, but from what I have seen in jury research and in trial, the true damage accelerator for defendants is anger.
In essence, jurors tend to look at damages in two ways: what the plaintiff deserves to receive and what the defendant deserves to pay. When looking simply at what a plaintiff deserves to receive, sure, sympathy plays a role, but so do other factors. Jurors are critical of and naturally curious about the plaintiff’s own role in what happened to her and the extent to which she has done what she needs to do to mitigate her damages. They question why this plaintiff deserves millions of dollars for her injuries when the jurors themselves may have experienced their own injuries (or those of loved ones) and have not received nor asked for a dime.
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