How Personal Injury Attorneys & Serious Injury Lawyers Present Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases

Personal injury lawyers commonly are consulted by a potential client who has been seriously injured or who has suffered catastrophic injuries as the result of the breadth of negligent conduct, from an auto accident or bicycle or pedestrian or motorcycle accident to medical malpractice, a product defect, food poisoning, or a defect or failure to maintain commercial or residential premises.

While “liability” in some cases may be simple, such as the auto accident lawyers establishing through witness testimony that the defendant driver ran the red light, the presentation of the damage case in every serious injury case is complex. Specific injuries sustained in auto accidents or premises liability cases, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, quadriplegia or paraplegia, and the resulting loss of enjoyment of life, can be as complex to present by personal injury lawyers as the evidence of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome HUS in a food poisoning case, or cerebral palsy in an obstetrical medical malpractice case.

Furthermore, speaking again just in terms of the client’s “general damages,” the personal injury lawyers must use appropriate strategies to convey to the settlement judge or jury the life consequence of the serious injuries. Many personal injury attorneys refer to “general damages” as “pain and suffering,” but often the most persuasive strategy can be framed in terms of “loss of enjoyment of life.” One way that lawyers will present their clients general damages is by eliciting the testimony of the client, his family and friends, as well as photographs and home movies demonstrating all the activities that the client enjoyed most in his life before the accident, juxtaposed against a “Day in the Life” film, commissioned by the personal injury lawyer to demonstrate the courage of the seriously injured client as he confronts all of the obstacles and challenges presented by his daily life.

The personal injury lawyer must also present the client’s “special damages” including his past and future medical expenses and past and future loss of earnings or earning capacity. Past medical expenses are often easy to prove, simply gathering and summing all medical bills accumulated from the date of the accident through the date of the settlement conference or trial. Future medical expenses are much more complicated for personal injury attorneys to present, usually requiring the testimony of a number of medical experts, a life care planner and a forensic economist. Very briefly, the life care planner consults with the treating and the medical experts hired by the serious injury attorneys to arrive at the client’s life expectancy and itemize all of the medical expense, from additional surgeries to convalescent home or rehabilitation expense, to replacement prostheses or wheel chairs to medical supplies that the client will require over the course of his life expectancy. The personal injury lawyer will the present the “life care plan” to a forensic economist who will increase the individual costs over the time period using medical cost inflation statistics and then reduce the total to present value.

In the simplest of cases, involving the hourly wage earner, for example, the measure of past loss of earnings might be relatively easy to calculate, but the measure of future loss of earning is always complex. Again it requires the personal injury lawyer to engage a number of experts, including medical experts, and most importantly a “vocational rehabilitation expert” and forensic economist. The measure of future loss of earnings or earning capacity is the “net” loss, and so the vocational rehabilitation expert generally meets with the client, speaks with the clients physicians and the medical experts selected by the serious injury lawyer, reviews the clients transcripts from the schooling or advanced education he has received, and then provides a report to the lawyer describing the occupations for which the client is, subsequent to the accident, is disqualified to participate in, and the occupations for which he remains qualified. Depending on the client’s injury, there may also be a substantial difference between the client’s “work life expectancy” before and after the accident. The serious injury lawyers then provide the vocational rehabilitation experts report to the forensic economist, who in turn employs wage rate increase statistics, for the client’s occupation before the accident, and in those industries for which he is still qualified to be employed, if any, and applies general inflation statistics to the gross total loss of future earnings to discount to present value.

Please understand that above our California personal injury lawyers have discussed only the “simplest case” of the hourly wage earner. Presenting future loss earnings, for example, can be much more complicated, for example, in cases in which the client was a business owner. For a more complete discussion of the presentation of damages in serious injury cases, you are invited to consider How Serious Injury Lawyers President Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases In that article we go into much more depth in explaining how serious injury attorneys present general damages and special damages, including in particular, future medical expenses and future loss of earnings.

It is a challenge for personal injury lawyers to properly and adequately present the damage case of the seriously injury client. It is a challenge that must be accepted by attorneys who regularly prosecute complex cases, such as medical malpractice, food poisoning or pharmaceutical product liability cases, as well as auto accident lawyers and premises liability attorneys alike. The special damage issues, which are the commonly the most complex, are the regardless whether the underlying liability is a simple auto accident or complex medical malpractice case. And the damage case requires equal attention, regardless of the underlying liability, by the personal injury lawyer who undertakes any serious injury case.

How to Make a Good Sales Presentation Great – The Role of the Presenter

A presentation is a performance. And while it may be true that some people are naturally better performers than others, it is also true that a few solid presentation techniques along with some serious practice can transform an ordinary presenter into a masterful one. And to achieve mastery, you must first understand your role as a presenter. So, here’s the score.

When faced with a major sales presentation–or even a minor one–it’s common practice for presenters to prepare by cramming as much “stuff” as they can on their PowerPoint slides. These presenters believe they need all that “stuff” to persuade the audience to make a buying decision. They are convinced that their role as a presenter is just to spit it all out. Big mistake!

The reality is, when you take center stage at the front of the room, when you turn on your computer to turn on your PowerPoint, your job is to turn on your audience. All the content in the world will not do that for you. It’s your presence that counts–because people buy from people they like. So it’s your job as presenter to be likable.

Simply put, as a presenter, your role is to be the star of the talk show. When you shine, you are likable. And when you are likable, your audience turns on to you and to the product or service you are selling.

That’s not to imply there is no place for detail. Of course there is. But it’s not on the screen. You wrote it in the proposal that got you to center stage in the first place. It goes in the handout you pass around just before the Q&A so you can refer to it when appropriate. It may also be in the promotional materials or brochures you leave behind.

So, let’s examine what great performers do and how, as a presenter, you can do it too–because great performers have several key traits in common, traits that make an audience tune in and turn on day after day or week after week. These are the traits that turn good performers into stars.

Now, I’m not talking about actors who skilfully deliver their lines in a play or a movie. The performers I mean are talk show hosts or news anchors or MCs who keep an audience listening to every word or keep a game show moving right along. Nobody expects you to become the Howie Mandel of the presentation circuit or the Oprah Winfrey of PowerPoint, or even the Anderson Cooper of the sales pitch. But you can learn a lot from them–and you should.

Great talk show hosts and great performers exude energy. They are not rooted to the spot like potted plants. They are not drones or automatons reciting memorized lines. They use their hands and their bodies like real people do when they are speaking to friends. Even when they are stuck behind a desk or perched on a stool, their energy is obvious. You see energy in their demeanor and you hear enthusiasm in their voice–because they know that energy is engaging. An audience responds to energy with excitement of their own–and that makes for a winning arena.

Great talk show hosts and great performers are passionate–and it shows. Politics aside, compare Obama’s smile to McCain’s and you’ll instantly know what I mean. Think of the contrasting styles of their delivery–one comfortable and easy and warm, the other not. When it comes to presenting, you want your warmth and passion to show. You want to look comfortable so your audience feels comfortable with you. Eliminate anything that gets in the way of your ability to be warm and likable and passionate so you can become the star performer you have always wanted to be.

Great talk show hosts and great performers connect with their audience. They make great eye contact — with individuals they may be interviewing or with the camera–and they smile often and talk naturally. They use what I call “shirtsleeve English.” They don’t search for fancy phrases in an attempt to dazzle their audience with ten dollar words when a fifty cent vocabulary does a better job. They talk to express–not to impress–and so should you.

Great talk show hosts and great performers understand how to use props. Since the star is the focus of the show, every prop they use–whether it’s a map or a phone or a graphic visual–is a support for their performance, not a replacement for it. Translated to a presentation, that means your PowerPoint should enhance your performance, not provide reading material for your audience to focus on while you are trying to hold their attention. I’ll say it another way: you are the presentation; your PowerPoint is a prop. Do not use PowerPoint as a crutch because it impedes your ability to star.

The very best presenters warm up their audience right from the get-go and you can learn more about that later in my article on presentation openings. But for now, practice getting these performance techniques right and knock ‘em dead. Stand in front of a mirror and catch yourself being natural. Videotape yourself as you talk through your material and check to be sure you are smiling often, speaking with energy and enthusiasm, moving your hands and your body like a real person with something fascinating to impart.

When your goal is a great performance, you can’t afford to play it by ear. You must hit the right notes–and deliver with style and flair. That’s the score.

Self Improvement and Living in the Present Moment

Having clear goals and desires for our future, and planning for their fulfilment are vital steps if we are serious about self improvement and achievement.

Delayed gratification is something that is practiced by many successful people, even if they aren’t aware of it. In simple terms, delayed gratification means making sacrifices now in order to achieve greater rewards in the future.

Most successful people become successful because they take actions and make sacrifices that less successful people are not prepared to do or make. However, in order to live a well rounded life and enjoy a rewarding lifestyle, we also need to be able to make the most of where we are at any given time.

Most of us have on ongoing internal dialogue within our minds, even if we aren’t aware of it. We rehash events that have happened to us in the past and replay them in our minds, both good and bad. We also visualise events that we expect to happen to us in the future, both good and bad. When we’re at work we spend time thinking about our domestic lives, and when we’re at home we think about our problems at work. If we’re not careful our days can slip by without us really noticing.

This can happen so easily, that we sometimes need to make a concerted effort to enjoy each present moment – or run the risk of depriving ourselves of a lot of pleasure. Planning for the future is essential, and we can all learn from the past. However, savouring the present moment and enjoying the simple pleasures, like a beautiful sunset, or the joy of a laughing child, or a walk on a deserted beach with a loved one, can make our lives infinitely richer.

Self Improvement Quote of the Day:

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha