Personal Injury Adversity



The second element of personal injury tragedy is adversity. The jury will relate to a true to life, realistic, honest plaintiff. The jury knows, however, they are in the case because of adversity or harm to plaintiff. Without harm there is no reason to be concerned about compensation to the plaintiff. Thus, the jury needs to see adversity which in a personal injury case is injury.

There must be a cause for the adversity (mechanism for adversity). This is the conduct of defendant and the force unleashed by defendant which is visited on plaintiff.

At times plaintiff’s lawyer treats the mechanism of adversity as the harm. This is done when the lawyer involves plaintiff to too great of an extent in the cause of her injury. For example in a car collision case by dwelling on damage to the cars. Plaintiff usually needs to describe the mechanism for her injury, but once this is done, and the jury relates to injury being caused by the mechanism, ¬†plaintiff’s focus needs to be directed to her injury.

When plaintiff is allowed to focus on the cause of the injury she will often appear to have an agenda such as anger rather then dealing with the adversity. According to Aristotle the key to tragedy is change in fortune, and how the hero deals with the change. This occurs in a personal injury case when plaintiff is injured and must deal with her injury. When she dwells on the cause she redirects the jury’s attention from her injuries which is off plot.

In the next post we will discuss the third element of the personal injury tragedy which concerns how the plaintiff deals with her injuries.

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