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Understanding What Does Not Motivate Jurors to Award Damages

New Jersey accident attorneys understand what motivates jurors to award damages. Perhaps more importantly, your attorneys understand what motivates jurors in not awarding damages.

Sympathy Is Not a Good Motivator

Tort reform advocates will have you believe that juries are frequently very sympathetic to the plight of plaintiffs in personal injury cases. This is simply not true. Jurors can be quite tough, often even callous or indifferent. A description of pain and suffering may not resonate with them. This means that sympathy will not be a primary factor in leading jurors to award a large amount of recovery to plaintiffs.

Moreover, the court will instruct most juries not to decide the case based on sympathy. This gives jurors a reason to oppose sympathy when it comes to jury deliberations. In fact, if a jury member thinks that the plaintiff is appealing to sympathy, this can become an obstacle to recovering damages. To prevent this, New Jersey accident attorneys must provide more effective motivations for jurors to recover the full extent of the plaintiffs’ damages.

Anger Doesn’t Always Motivate Jurors Either

Anger is generally a marginally better motivator for jurors than sympathy, but it is typically not effective to merely inform jurors that you are angry or that they should be angry. Shared anger can be powerful, but unless jurors get angry themselves, any expression of anger by the attorney (or plaintiff) may come across as disingenuous. In some cases, jurors can even interpret it as a personal attack on them.

Moreover, keep in mind that anger is an emotion. It is not a value. Misdirected anger especially is never a motivator for jurors to award damages, even if a plaintiff’s anger is justifiable. To be effective, the anger must be associated with a positive value the juror personally believes in and will fight to protect.

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Experienced New Jersey accident attorneys know what motivates jurors and can advise you about the likelihood of success in your personal injury suit. If you have further questions about your personal injury claim, call the New Jersey accident attorneys at the Clark Law Firm, PC today at 877-841-8855.

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